Title Colour Legend:
Green - Topic summary is available.
Orange - Topic summary is being compiled.
Red - Topic summary has no current systematic review available.

Cultural differences

How are cultural differences related to course and outcome of schizophrenia?

Cultural differences may influence the course and outcome of illness for people with schizophrenia. These may be the result of differences in understanding of mental illness, and different attitudes and treatment approaches towards these disorders. Some cultures may provide more accessible pathways to care than others, including ready access to treatment and family and social support that can assist the individual to better deal with symptoms and any associated distress. Negative cultural attitudes towards mental illness may exacerbate stigma and social isolation, and some cultures may focus more on “abnormal” behaviour than other cultures, potentially perpetuating it.

What is the evidence for cultural differences?

Moderate to low quality evidence suggests rates of mortality, remission, relapse, social disability, marital status, and employment vary across studies conducted in different countries in the developing world. However, rates also vary across studies conducted within countries in the developing world. Black people in the U.K., particularly those of African Caribbean or Black African ethnicity may be more likely to have had compulsory hospital admissions compared to white people in the U.K. They are less likely to be hospitalised on first presentation to services, or to be referred to specialist services, and police are more likely to have been involved in their admission to hospital. There are also fewer compulsory admissions for Asians in Canada who have first-episode psychosis than for Whites, Blacks or those of other ethnic backgrounds.

Also see the ethnicity risk factor topic.

March 2016

Page last updated: 7:29  6 September 2017

To view documentation related to this topic download the files below