Psychological Medicine

Original Articles

Severe mental disorder in Afro-Caribbean patients: some social, demographic and service factors

Glynn Harrisona1 c1, Anthony Holtona1, David Neilsona1, David Owensa1, Daphne Boota1 and John Coopera1

a1 Department of Psychiatry, University Hospital, Nottingham


Forty-two consecutively identified Afro-Caribbean patients with a first episode of psychosis were compared with a similar group of non-Caribbean patients. A number of differences emerged, although the same proportion of patients in each group had symptoms for 6 months or more prior to psychiatric contact. Afro-Caribbean patients showed greater delay in seeking help, more ‘disturbance’ later in the course of their illness and were more likely to be admitted compulsorily. The social geography of the two groups suggests that the high rates of schizophrenia and related psychoses that we previously reported cannot be explained simply by differences in area of residence at the time of presentation.


c1 Address for correspondence: Dr Glynn Harrison, Academic Department of Psychiatry, University Hospital, Nottingham NG7 2UH.