Previous studies have suggested that subjects participating in schizophrenia research are not representative of the demographics of the global population of people with schizophrenia, particularly in terms of gender and geographical location. We here explored if this has evolved throughout the decades, examining changes in geographical location, gender and age of participants in studies of schizophrenia published in the last 50 years. We examined this using a meta-analytical approach on an existing database including over 3,000 studies collated for another project. We found that the proportion of studies and participants from low-and-middle income countries has significantly increased over time, with considerable input from studies from China. However, it is still low when compared to the global population they represent. Women have been historically under-represented in studies, and still are in high-income countries. However, a significantly higher proportion of female participants have been included in studies over time. The age of participants included has not changed significantly over time. Overall, there have been improvements in the geographical and gender representation of people with schizophrenia. However, there is still a long way to go so research can be representative of the global population of people with schizophrenia, particularly in geographical terms.

Original languageEnglish
Article number114279
JournalPsychiatry Research
Early online date25 Nov 2021
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022


  • Age
  • Diversity
  • Gender
  • Global diversity
  • High-income countries
  • Low-and-middle-income countries
  • Schizophrenia


Dive into the research topics of 'Gender, age and geographical representation over the past 50 years of schizophrenia research'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this