Risk factors and the prevalence of neurosis and psychosis in ethnic groups in Great Britain

T Brugha, R Jenkins, P Bebbington, H Meltzer, G Lewis, M Farrell

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48 Citations (Scopus)


Background Our aim was to examine whether variations in the prevalence of neurosis and psychosis between ethnic minorities throughout Great Britain are explained by social disadvantage. Method A total of 10,108 adult householders throughout Great Britain were assessed in a two-stage survey with the Revised Clinical Interview Schedule (CIS-R) and Psychosis Screening Questionnaire (PSQ). Respondents with a positive PSQ or who received a diagnosis of, or treatment for, psychosis were examined by a psychiatrist using the Schedules for Clinical Assessment in Neuropsychiatry (SCAN). Data on respondents' preferred ethnic group were collapsed into four groups: Whites, African-Caribbean or Africans, south Asians and other. Results Ethnic grouping was strongly associated with: unemployment; lone parent status; lower social class; low perceived social support; poverty (indicated by lack of car ownership) and having a primary social support group of less than three close others. All these associations applied to the group Africans and Afro-Caribbeans, but only some applied to the other groups. No ethnic group had significantly increased rates of neurosis. Only the African-Caribbean group were at significantly increased risk of a psychotic disorder (odds ratio 4.55; 95% Cl: 1.13, 18.30). After adjustment for risk factors, the odds of psychosis were lower (odds ratio 2.97; 95% Cl: 0.66, 13.36). Conclusions The excess of psychosis in Africans and Afro-Caribbeans in Great Britain appears to be partly explained by socio-economic disadvantage, but larger studies are needed to confirm this.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)939 - 946
Number of pages8
JournalSocial Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2004


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