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Br J Psychiatry. 2003 Jan;182:71-6.

Discrimination and delusional ideation.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry and Neuropsychology, Maastricht University, The Netherlands.



In the UK and The Netherlands, people with high rates of psychosis are chronically exposed to discrimination.


To test whether perceived discrimination is associated longitudinally with onset of psychosis.


A 3-year prospective study of cohorts with no history of psychosis and differential rates of reported discrimination on the basis of age, gender, disability, appearance, skin colour or ethnicity and sexual orientation was conducted in the Dutch general population (n=4076). The main outcome was onset of psychotic symptoms (delusions and hallucinations).


The rate of delusional ideation was 0.5% (n=19) in those who did not report discrimination, 0.9% (n=4) in those who reported discrimination in one domain, and 2.7% (n=3) in those who reported discrimination in more than one domain (exact P=0.027). This association remained after adjustment for possible confounders. No association was found between baseline discrimination and onset of hallucinatory experiences.


Perceived discrimination may induce delusional ideation and thus contribute to the high observed rates of psychotic disorder in exposed minority populations.

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