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PLoS Med. 2007 Jun;4(6):e159.

What is the best approach to treating schizophrenia in developing countries?

Author information

1
International Mental Health, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, United Kingdom. vikram.patel@lshtm.ac.uk

Abstract

BACKGROUND TO THE DEBATE:

Schizophrenia affects an estimated 25 million people in low- and middle-income countries, with an average lifetime risk of about 1%. The illness is associated with excess mortality from a variety of causes. A 2001 Institute of Medicine report on mental illness in developing countries found that in 1990, over two-thirds of people with schizophrenia in these countries were not receiving any treatment (http://www.nap.edu/catalog/10111.html). The report found no evidence that the proportion of treated people in the developing world had increased since 1990. There is now a debate among mental health professionals in low-income countries over how best to improve patient care. In this article, three psychiatrists give their different viewpoints on the current status of treatment efforts for schizophrenia in the developing world and the measures that can be taken to increase the proportion of patients receiving treatment.

PMID:
17579508
PMCID:
PMC1892038
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pmed.0040159
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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