Background: Delusions are a central feature of schizophrenia, yet our understanding of their neurobiology is limited. Attempt to link dimensions of psychopathology to putative neurobiological mechanisms depends on careful delineation of symptoms. Previous factor analytic studies of delusions in schizophrenia were limited by several methodological problems, including the use of patients medicated with antipsychotics, inclusion of nondelusion symptoms in the analyses, and/or inclusion of patients with psychotic disorders other than schizophrenia. These problems may have possibly biased the resulting factor structure and contributed to the inconclusive findings regarding the neurobiology of positive symptoms. Our goal is to examine the factor structure of delusions in antipsychotic-free individuals with diagnoses of schizophrenia/schizoaffective disorder. Sampling and Methods: We assessed 83 antipsychotic-free individuals with DSM-IV diagnoses of schizophrenia/schizoaffective disorder. A principal component analysis was conducted on the delusions symptoms of the SAPS. Results: The principal component analysis resulted in three distinct and interpretable factors explaining 58.3% of the variance. The Delusions of Influence factor was comprised by delusions of being controlled, thought withdrawal, thought broadcasting, thought insertion, and mind reading. The Self-Significance Delusions factor was comprised by delusions of grandeur, reference, religious, and delusions of guilt/sin. The Delusions of Persecution factor was comprised solely by persecutory delusions. The three factors displayed distinct associations with hallucinations, bizarre behavior, attention, positive formal thought disorder, and avolition/apathy. Conclusions: The results indicate that delusions are best described by three distinct subtypes. The authors propose a novel model linking the three delusion subtypes, attributions to self/other, and putative neurobiological mechanisms. Implications for future research are discussed, as well as links to cognitive-behavioral conceptualizations of delusions.

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