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Ethnic inequalities in the use of secondary and tertiary mental health services among patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)530-5
Number of pages6
JournalBritish Journal of Psychiatry
Issue number6
Early online date23 Jul 2015
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2015

King's Authors


Obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) has similar prevalence rates across ethnic groups. However, ethnic minorities are underrepresented in clinical trials of OCD. It is unclear whether this is also the case in clinical services.

To explore whether ethnic minorities with OCD are underrepresented in secondary and tertiary mental health services in the South London and Maudsley (SLaM) NHS Foundation Trust.

The ethnic distribution of patients with OCD seen between 1999 and 2013 in SLaM (n = 1528) was compared with that of the general population in the catchment area using census data. A cohort of patients with depression (n = 22 716) was used for comparative purposes.

Ethnic minorities with OCD were severely underrepresented across services (−57%, 95% CI −62% to −52%). The magnitude of the observed inequalities was significantly more pronounced than in depression (−29%, 95% CI −31% to −27%).

There is a clear need to understand the reasons behind such ethnic inequalities and implement measures to reduce them.

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