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Duration of untreated psychosis and ethnicity in the AE SOP first-onset psychosis study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)239 - 247
Number of pages9
JournalPsychological Medicine
Volume36
Issue number2
DOIs
PublishedFeb 2006

King's Authors

Abstract

Background. There is a common assumption that Black patients with a psychotic mental illness experience longer treatment delays during a first episode. We Sought to investigate this issue in a large cohort of patients with a first episode of psychosis. Method. All patients with a first episode of psychosis presenting to secondary mental health services within tightly defined catchment areas in south-east London and Nottingham over a 2-year period were included in the study. Data relating to duration of untreated psychosis (DUP) and clinical and sociodemographic characteristics were collected from patients, relatives and case-notes. Results. There was no evidence that African-Caribbean or Black African patients experienced longer periods of untreated psychosis than White British patients prior to first contact with services. There was evidence that Black African patients experienced shorter periods of untreated psychosis than White British patients. Conclusions. Contrary to what is commonly assumed, our study suggests that Black patients with a psychotic mental illness do not experience longer treatment delays prior to first contact with services than White British patients. This suggests that strategies to reduce treatment delays targeted specifically at Black patients will be of limited value

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