Race, ethnicity, and the duration of untreated psychosis: a systematic review Academic Article uri icon

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  • PURPOSE: An extended duration of untreated psychosis (DUP) is associated with poor outcome in first-episode psychosis (FEP). Some have suggested that minority ethnic groups have longer treatment delays, and this could lead to worse outcomes. We systematically reviewed the literature on racial and ethnic differences in DUP in patients with FEP. METHODS: We searched electronic databases and conducted forward and backward tracking to identify studies that had compared DUP for people with FEP from different racial or ethnic groups. RESULTS: We identified ten papers that reported on the association between race or ethnicity and DUP. Overall, these studies did not find evidence of differences between groups; however, three of ten studies suggested that Black patients generally, and Black-African patients specifically, may have a shorter DUP relative to White patients. There were methodological limitations in most studies with respect to ethnicity classification, sample size, and adjustment for potential confounders. CONCLUSION: Racial and ethnic differences in DUP were rarely found. This could reflect that DUP does not differ between groups, or may reflect the methodological limitations of prior research. Studies that are designed and powered to examine these differences in treatment delay are needed to determine whether there are differences in DUP for minority groups.


  • Anderson, Kelly K
  • Flora, Nina
  • Archie, Suzanne
  • Morgan, Craig
  • McKenzie, Kwame

publication date

  • July 2014