Ethnic differences among patients in high-security psychiatric hospitals in England



Publication Details

Leese, M., Thornicroft, G., Shaw, J., Thomas, S. DM., Harty, M. & Dolan, M. (2006). Ethnic differences among patients in high-security psychiatric hospitals in England. British Journal of Psychiatry, 188 (4), 380-385.


Background Black (Black Caribbean and Black African) patients are over-represented in admissions to general adult and medium-security psychiatric services in England. Aims To describe the sociodemographic, clinical and offence characteristics of patients in high-security psychiatric hospitals (HSPHs) in England, and to compare admission rates and unmet needs by ethnic group. Method A total of 1255 in-patients were interviewed, and their legal status, socio-demographic characteristics and individual treatment needs were assessed. Results Black patients in HSPHs are over-represented by 8.2 times (range 3.2-24.4,95% CI 7.1-9.3), are more often male (P=0.037), and are more often diagnosed with a mental illness and less often diagnosed with a personality disorder or learning disability (P<0.001) than White patients. Unmet needs were significantly less common among White than among Black patients (mean values of 2.22 v. 2.62, difference=0.40,95% CI 0.06-0.73). Conclusions Compared with the proportion of Black patients in the general population in their region of origin, a much higher proportion of Black patients were admitted to HSPHs, and fewer of their needs were met.

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