Race May Play Role in Dx of Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON -- Clinicians appear to be more likely to diagnose black patients with schizophrenia than white patients, even after controlling for symptom presentation, according to a study of more than 200 patients.

"The findings suggest that a racial bias exists in clinical settings, with clinicians being more likely to give a diagnosis of schizophrenia to black patients than to white patients," Sherif Abdelmessih, a psychology researcher at Fordham University in New York, said in a poster presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association.

Study participants originally were recruited for a study on the genetics of psychiatric disorders from inpatient units and outpatient treatment programs at Zucker Hillside Hospital and at other affiliates of the North Shore Long Island Jewish Health System in New York.

Patients were included whether they had a primary diagnosis of schizophrenia or bipolar disorder with psychosis--based on the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Disorders (SCID)--or a clinical diagnosis of schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, or bipolar I disorder. Participants with a clinical diagnosis of schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder were combined into one group. …