Ethnicity and outcome of psychosis

Br J Psychiatry. 1999 Jul:175:34-42. doi: 10.1192/bjp.175.1.34.


Background: An excess of psychotic illness in Black people has been found in cross-sectional studies. Little is known about the outcome of psychosis in different ethnic groups in the UK.

Aims: To compare the incidence, nature and long-term outcome of psychosis in different ethnic groups.

Method: A five-year, prospective study of an epidemiological cohort of people with a first contact for psychosis.

Results: Age-standardised incidence rates for schizophrenia and non-affective psychosis were higher for Black and Asian people than Whites. Stability of diagnosis and course of illness were similar in all ethnic groups. During the fifth year, Black people were more likely than others to be detained, brought to hospital by the police and given emergency injections.

Conclusions: The nature and outcome of psychotic illness is similar in all ethnic groups but Black people experience more adverse contacts with services later in the course of illness.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Asia / ethnology
  • Black People
  • Black or African American / statistics & numerical data
  • Cohort Studies
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • London / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Mental Health Services / statistics & numerical data
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care
  • Prospective Studies
  • Psychotic Disorders / diagnosis
  • Psychotic Disorders / ethnology*
  • Psychotic Disorders / therapy
  • Schizophrenia / diagnosis
  • Schizophrenia / ethnology*
  • Schizophrenia / therapy
  • Sex Distribution
  • White People / statistics & numerical data