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An ethnic-group comparison of caregiver beliefs about early psychotic illness in a UK sample: Implications for evidence-based caregiver interventions

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)432-444
Number of pages13
JournalTranscultural Psychiatry
Issue number3
Accepted/In press1 Jan 2020
Published1 Jun 2020

King's Authors


This study aimed to investigate potential ethnic differences in cognitive responses to caregiving in psychosis that might be relevant to the delivery of caregiver interventions for difficulties related to psychosis. We compared cross-sectional outcomes across early-stage caregivers who self-identified as white British (n = 37) and those who self-identified as black African or Caribbean (n = 41) using United Kingdom (UK) census ethnicity criteria. Self-report questionnaires were used to examine caregiver beliefs about psychosis, including the perceived causes, consequences, timeline, the degree of control that patients have over their difficulties, as well as their appraisals of caregiving. Caregivers from black African or Caribbean backgrounds reported a significantly shorter expected duration of illness than white British caregivers. They were also more likely to cite psychosocial causes (e.g., relationship issues), and less likely to cite biological and genetic causes, as their principal explanations for problems. However, overall differences in perceived causes of illness between ethnicities were not significant, despite the power in this sample to detect medium-sized effects. Factors associated with ethnicity may contribute to individual differences in explanatory models of illness and in experiences of caregiving. A degree of sensitivity to the range of views that people might hold about psychosis may help to engage caregivers from diverse ethnic backgrounds.

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