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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 quality evidence suggests rates of mortality, remission, relapse, social disability, marital status, and employment vary across studies conducted in different countries both in the developed and 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.

March 2019

Last updated at: 2:43 am, 23rd March 2019
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