Symptom profiles and explanatory models of first‐episode psychosis in African‐, Caribbean‐ and European‐origin groups in Ontario Journal Articles uri icon

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  • AbstractAimTo assess variability in symptom presentation and explanatory models of psychosis for people from different ethnic groups.MethodsClients with first‐episode psychosis (n = 171) who identified as black African, black Caribbean or white European were recruited from early intervention programmes in Toronto and Hamilton. We compared results by ethnic group for symptom profiles and explanatory models of illness.ResultsClients of black Caribbean origin had a lower odds of reporting that they were speaking incomprehensibly (OR = 0.36; 95% CI: 0.14–0.90) and black African clients had a greater odds of reporting persistent aches or pains (OR = 2.92; 95% CI: 1.32–6.50). Black African clients had a lower odds of attributing the cause of psychosis to hereditary factors (OR = 0.41; 95% CI: 0.19–0.89) or to substance abuse (OR = 0.29; 95% CI: 0.13–0.67) and had a lower odds of assigning responsibility for their illness to themselves (OR = 0.41; 95% CI: 0.19–0.89).ConclusionsUnderstanding the differences in illness models for ethnic minority groups may help improve the cultural competence of mental health services.


  • Maraj, Anika
  • Anderson, Kelly K
  • Flora, Nina
  • Ferrari, Manuela
  • Archie, Suzanne
  • McKenzie, Kwame J

publication date

  • April 2017