Ethnic differences in mental health service use among patients with psychotic disorders

Rajesh Mohan*, Paul McCrone, George Szmukler, Nadia Micali, Sarah Afuwape, Graham Thornicroft

*Corresponding author for this work
16 Citations (Scopus)


Background: There are concerns that ethnic minority patients are over-represented in inpatient mental health settings, but under-utilise community services. This study aims to compare the use of community mental health services between African-Caribbean and White patients with psychosis, before and after the introduction of new community services, and to investigate their impact on inpatient treatment. Methods: The sample was drawn from epidemiologically representative patients with psychotic disorders living in two catchment areas in South London, one of which was developing intensive community treatments. Service utilisation was measured at baseline and at 2-year follow-up using the Client Service Receipt Interview (CSRI). The mean number of contacts with specific services was compared between the two groups over time. Results: A total of 92 White and 48 African-Caribbean patients were compared. The latter were more likely to be younger (P = 0.004), have shorter illness duration (P < 0.001), and had more detentions under the Mental Health Act (P = 0.003). No significant differences were seen in use of community services over time. However, intensive treatment led to a significant reduction in hospital days for African Caribbean patients compared to White patients in the intensive sector and all patients in the standard sector. Conclusions: Intensive community treatments reduced in patient days in African Caribbean patients. Further effort is needed to improve the cultural sensitivity of community mental health services.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSocial Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology
Issue number10
Pages (from-to)771-776
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • African-Caribbean
  • Ethnicity
  • Intensive community treatment
  • Psychosis
  • Service use


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