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Br J Psychiatry. 1990 Mar;156:373-8.

Police admissions to a psychiatric hospital. Demographic and clinical differences between ethnic groups.

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  • 1Maudsley Hospital, Denmark Hill, London.


Between October 1983 and December 1985, 268 patients were brought by police to a psychiatric hospital in south London under section 136 of the Mental Health Act 1983. Comparisons were made between 'blacks' and 'whites' on several clinical and demographic variables. The vast majority of admissions received a psychiatric diagnosis. An excess of black admissions was recorded. Black men were younger, were more likely than whites to be given neuroleptics, to be put on compulsory orders, and to be given an out-patient appointment when discharged from hospital. More black men were given a case-note diagnosis of schizophrenia or drug-induced psychosis. The differences in clinical management between ethnic groups could be at least partly accounted for by these differences in diagnosis. Treatment did not appear to be independent of diagnosis among the black admissions.

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