The objective of this study was to examine ethnic differences in the content of delusions and hallucinations among a tri-ethnic sample of adult psychiatric inpatients older than 40 years who were hospitalized with an acute psychotic episode.
A chart review of inpatient episodes for 133 middle-aged and older adult patients (31 African Americans, 50 Latinos, and 52 Euro-Americans) with a mean age of 50 years was performed at an acute behavioral medicine unit at a university hospital. All patients were diagnosed with a severe psychotic disorder. The content and frequency of psychotic symptoms were systematically reviewed using a structured checklist and comparisons across ethnic groups were made using chi(2) statistics.
Ethnic group differences were found in the contents and subtypes of delusions and hallucinations. Significant ethnic differences were found in symptom content, consistent with findings from studies on younger samples of inpatients. Euro-Americans were nearly twice as likely as Latinos to report delusions of grandiosity. African Americans were more likely than Latinos to report general paranoid delusions of persecution. Latinos reported more culturally influenced contents than the other groups.
Raising provider awareness of ethnic variation in symptom expression is a key step in the process of developing effective treatments for ethnically diverse middle-aged and older patient populations.
General Hospital Psychiatry 03/2006; 28(2):161-8. DOI:10.1016/j.genhosppsych.2005.12.003 · 2.90 Impact Factor