Mental hospital admission rates of immigrants to England: a comparison of 1971 and 1981

Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol. 1989 Jan;24(1):2-11. doi: 10.1007/BF01788193.


The present study compares admissions to mental hospitals in England in 1981 with comparable figures obtained for 1971. Patients were classified by place of birth and the two data sets reveal interesting similarities a decade apart. With schizophrenia the trend in 1981, as in 1971, is for the foreign born to have higher rates of admission in comparison to the native born; and as in 1971 the groups with the highest rate of admission are the Irish born and those born in the Caribbean and Poland. Overall rates of admission in 1981 for immigrants from India, Pakistan, Germany and Italy (like 1971) are lower than the native born rates. As in 1971 the Irish and Scots have extremely high rates of alcohol and drug related disorders, and although they also have high rates of personality disorders they are not as high as the 1971 rates. Those born in the Caribbean continue to show relatively low rates of admission for alcohol, drug and personality disorders. For Indian born males the 1981 figure for alcohol related admissions is twice that of 1971. There is an apparent increase in the rates of depression in 1981 compared to 1971 across all the groups which is affected by changes in recording procedures. There are other findings which are peculiar to only one sub-group, such as the very low re-admission rates for Pakistani women compared to the other groups. This paper provides some possible explanations to account for these variations in rates of admission.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cross-Cultural Comparison*
  • Emigration and Immigration*
  • England
  • Female
  • Hospitals, Psychiatric / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Mental Disorders / ethnology
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Admission / trends*