African-Americans More Likely to Be Misdiagnosed with Schizophrenia
Style Magazine Newswire | 4/5/2019, 3:04 p.m.
African-Americans with severe depression are more likely to be misdiagnosed as having schizophrenia, according to a new Rutgers study. The study, which appeared online prior to being published in the February 2019 issue of the journal Psychiatric Services, examined the medical records of 1,657 people at a community behavioral health clinic that included screening for major depression as part of its assessment for schizophrenia in new patients. The study, which looked at 599 blacks and 1,058 non-Latino whites, found that clinicians failed to effectively weigh mood symptoms when diagnosing schizophrenia among African-Americans, suggesting that racial bias, whether conscious or subconscious, is one factor in the diagnosis of schizophrenia in this population. Other factors include genetics, poverty and discrimination, as well as symptoms caused by infections and malnutrition early in life.