Ethnicity May Influence Schizophrenia Outcomes

Article excerpt

HOLLYWOOD, FLA. -- Schizophrenia prevalence rates are similar among different ethnic groups, but a retrospective study of 466 patients shows some significant differences in treatment outcomes between Hispanic and white patients.

Outcomes were not significantly different between blacks and whites, however.

Compared with whites, His-panics had significantly greater baseline severity of psychiatric symptoms on the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS-18). However, their scores also were significantly improved at 3 months, suggesting a more rapid response to treatment.

"I have no idea why the His-panics responded better," M. Lynn Crismon, Pharm.D., said in an interview at his poster during a meeting of the New Clinical Drug Evaluation Unit. The meeting was sponsored by the National Institute of Mental Health.

"We looked at symptom severity and response between ethnic groups," said Dr. Crismon, professor of pharmacy at the University of Texas at Austin.

A large Hispanic population at clinics in San Antonio and El Paso, Tex., as provided Dr. Crismon and his associates with sufficient numbers to compare patients by ethnicity. They assessed 216 Hispanics, 172 whites, and 78 African Americans according to their BPRS-18 scores, positive and negative symptom subscales, and depression ratings. …