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Understanding the excess of psychosis among the African-Caribbean population in England: Review of current hypotheses

  • Mandy Sharpley (a1), Gerard Hutchinson (a1), Robin M. Murray (a1) and Kwame McKenzie (a1)

Abstract

Background

Increased rates of schizophrenia continue to be reported among the African–Caribbean population in England.

Aims

To evaluate the competing biological, psychological and social explanations that have been proposed.

Method

Literature review.

Results

The African–Caribbean population in England is at increased risk of both schizophrenia and mania; the higher rates remain when operational diagnostic criteria are used. The excess of the two psychotic disorders are probably linked: African–Caribbean patients with schizophrenia show more affective symptoms, and a more relapsing course with greater social disruption but fewer chronic negative symptoms, than White patients. No simple hypothesis explains these findings.

Conclusions

More complex hypotheses are needed. One such links cultural variation in symptom reporting, the use of phenomenological constructs by psychiatrists and social disadvantage.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

Dr Mandy Sharpley, Section of Social Psychiatry, Institute of Psychiatry, DeCrespigny Park, London SE5 8AF, UK

Footnotes

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Declaration of interest

None.

Footnotes

References

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Understanding the excess of psychosis among the African-Caribbean population in England: Review of current hypotheses

  • Mandy Sharpley (a1), Gerard Hutchinson (a1), Robin M. Murray (a1) and Kwame McKenzie (a1)

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Understanding the excess of psychosis among the African-Caribbean population in England: Review of current hypotheses

  • Mandy Sharpley (a1), Gerard Hutchinson (a1), Robin M. Murray (a1) and Kwame McKenzie (a1)
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