Pathways to care and ethnicity. 2: Source of referral and help-seeking. Report from the AESOP study.

Division of Psychological Medicine, Institute of Psychiatry, De Crespigny Park, London SE5 8AF, UK.
The British Journal of Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 7.34). 05/2005; 186:290-6. DOI: 10.1192/bjp.186.4.290
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Previous research has found that African-Caribbean and Black African patients are likely to come into contact with mental health services via more negative routes, when compared with White patients. We sought to investigate pathways to mental health care and ethnicity in a sample of patients with a first episode of psychosis drawn from two UK centres.
We included all White British, other White, African-Caribbean and Black African patients with a first episode of psychosis who made contact with psychiatric services over a 2-year period and were living in defined areas. Clinical, socio-demographic and pathways to care data were collected from patients, relatives and case notes.
Compared with White British patients, general practitioner referral was less frequent for both African-Caribbean and Black African patients and referral by a criminal justice agency was more common. With the exception of criminal justice referrals for Black African patients, these findings remained significant after adjusting for potential confounders.
These findings suggest that factors are operating during a first episode of psychosis to increase the risk that the pathway to care for Black patients will involve non-health professionals.

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