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J Nerv Ment Dis. 2009 May;197(5):337-47. doi: 10.1097/NMD.0b013e3181a2087e.

Significance of endorsement of psychotic symptoms by US Latinos.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University and New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, New York, USA. rlewis@nyspi.cpmc.columbia.edu

Abstract

In US regional studies, Latinos frequently endorse psychotic symptoms associated with impairment and mental health service use, yet do not meet criteria for psychotic disorder. Using a nationally representative Latino sample (N = 2554), we examined the prevalence of psychotic symptoms, their relationship to psychotic disorder, their correlates, and their relationship to mental health outcomes. In this sample, 9.5% (SE = 0.7) endorsed 1 or more lifetime psychotic symptoms, yet 93% of endorsers did not meet Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV criteria for psychotic disorders. Endorsement was associated with physical and emotional distress, particularly lifetime anxiety and current substance use disorder. Acculturation to US society and reliance on spiritual/religious help were also associated with psychotic symptom endorsement. These symptoms have substantial clinical significance, being independently associated with suicidal ideation, mental health-related disability, and outpatient mental health service utilization. Endorsed psychotic symptoms in Latinos may constitute a clinically significant marker of general psychiatric vulnerability rather than a sign of psychotic disorder.

PMID:
19440107
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2782526
Free PMC Article
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