Does race affect prescribing for acute psychosis? Evaluation by a case vignette

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    BACKGROUND: Black people are over represented in mental health services and prescribing of antipsychotics differs by race in some countries. Our previous UK research into the prescribing of antipsychotics in large, multicentre studies found no important differences for black and white patients. However, we received several comments challenging our findings. We wanted to test the validity of these anecdotes by devising two case vignettes that differed only by race and asking prescribers to choose antipsychotic treatment.

    METHOD: A case study was sent to all medical prescribers in the South London and Maudsley NHS Trust. Half of the prescribers for each grade of staff were sent the case study where the ethnicity of the patient was white and the other half where the ethnicity was black. Participants were asked to describe what they would prescribe for the patient. Outcomes were total percentage maximum dose, high dose, type of antipsychotic, route of administration and antipsychotic polypharmacy.

    RESULTS: We received 123 completed case studies and demographic data forms from prescribers. There were no differences in percentage maximum dose, high dose, type, route and number of antipsychotics prescribed by case study ethnicity.

    CONCLUSIONS: Prescribing for UK black and white patients is broadly similar when tested in clinical and theoretical studies.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)172-7
    Number of pages6
    JournalTherapeutic Advances in Psychopharmacology
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2016


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