## Abstract

Aims: To examine the structure of the Prodromal Questionnaire (PQ-16) in a non-help-seeking population through exploratory factor analysis and confirmatory factor analysis. Previous studies have not looked at the structure of this self-report measure outside clinical settings.

Methods: Participants (n=1045) were recruited through Amazon’s Mechanical Turk (MTurk), and then completed the PQ-16. The data set was split randomly in two, one being used for exploratory factor analysis (EFA) and the other for confirmatory factor analysis (CFA). A polychoric correlation matrix was created and EFA was used to explore the factor structure of the PQ-16. Four models were tested through CFA to determine best fit: one, two, three and four-factor models were all analysed.

Results: EFA indicated a two-factor structure in the PQ-16 in a non-help-seeking population (with a mean age = 29.7 years). Factor 1 represented perceptual abnormalities/hallucinations and factor 2 general symptoms associated with psychosis-risk. CFA indicated that all the proposed models were suitable fits for the dataset. Fit indices for the three-factor model (factor 1 representing perceptual abnormalities/hallucinations, factor 2 unusual thought content, and factor 3 negative symptom) indicated that it appeared to be a better fit for the data than the one, two, and four factor models.

Conclusions: This study suggests that a three-factor model of the PQ-16 is a better fit than other proposed models in a non-help-seeking population. Future research of the structure of the PQ-16 in this population may benefit from recruiting subjects with a lower mean age than the current study.

Methods: Participants (n=1045) were recruited through Amazon’s Mechanical Turk (MTurk), and then completed the PQ-16. The data set was split randomly in two, one being used for exploratory factor analysis (EFA) and the other for confirmatory factor analysis (CFA). A polychoric correlation matrix was created and EFA was used to explore the factor structure of the PQ-16. Four models were tested through CFA to determine best fit: one, two, three and four-factor models were all analysed.

Results: EFA indicated a two-factor structure in the PQ-16 in a non-help-seeking population (with a mean age = 29.7 years). Factor 1 represented perceptual abnormalities/hallucinations and factor 2 general symptoms associated with psychosis-risk. CFA indicated that all the proposed models were suitable fits for the dataset. Fit indices for the three-factor model (factor 1 representing perceptual abnormalities/hallucinations, factor 2 unusual thought content, and factor 3 negative symptom) indicated that it appeared to be a better fit for the data than the one, two, and four factor models.

Conclusions: This study suggests that a three-factor model of the PQ-16 is a better fit than other proposed models in a non-help-seeking population. Future research of the structure of the PQ-16 in this population may benefit from recruiting subjects with a lower mean age than the current study.

Original language | English |
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Journal | Early Intervention in Psychiatry |

DOIs | |

Publication status | Accepted - 12 Mar 2021 |

## Keywords

- Attenuated symptoms, Prodromal Questionnaire-16, Psychosis, Factor Analysis, Screening