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Primary indicated prevention is reliant on accurate tools to predict the onset of psychosis. The gold standard assessment for detecting individuals at clinical high risk (CHR-P) for psychosis in the UK and many other countries is the Comprehensive Assessment for At Risk Mental States (CAARMS). While the prognostic accuracy of CHR-P instruments has been assessed in general, this is the first study to specifically analyse that of the CAARMS. As such, the CAARMS was used as the index test, with the reference index being psychosis onset within 2 years. Six independent studies were analysed using MIDAS (STATA 14), with a total of 1876 help-seeking subjects referred to high risk services (CHR-P+: n=892; CHR-P-: n=984). Area under the curve (AUC), summary receiver operating characteristic curves (SROC), quality assessment, likelihood ratios, and probability modified plots were computed, along with sensitivity analyses and meta-regressions. The current meta-analysis confirmed that the 2-year prognostic accuracy of the CAARMS is only acceptable (AUC=0.79 95% CI: 0.75-0.83) and not outstanding as previously reported. In particular, specificity was poor. Sensitivity of the CAARMS is inferior compared to the SIPS, while specificity is comparably low. However, due to the difficulties in performing these types of studies, power in this meta-analysis was low. These results indicate that refining and improving the prognostic accuracy of the CAARMS should be the mainstream area of research for the next era. Avenues of prediction improvement are critically discussed and presented to better benefit patients and improve outcomes of first episode psychosis.

Original publication




Journal article


Eur Psychiatry

Publication Date





62 - 68


CAARMS, Clinical utility, Prevention, Prognostic accuracy, Psychosis, Female, Humans, Interview, Psychological, Male, Probability, Prognosis, Psychometrics, Psychotic Disorders, Reproducibility of Results, Risk Assessment, Sensitivity and Specificity