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BME patients less likely to be offered evidence-based schizophrenia treatment

BME patients with schizophrenia are less likely to be offered evidence-based treatments for psychosis than white patients, according to a new study.

The research found that BME patients were more likely than their white counterparts to be treated with injectable medications and less likely to be offered CBT, raising questions about the equity of treatment between white and BME patients.

The study published in BMC Med looked at data for just over 10,500 patients with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder from England and Wales. Around 20% of the patients identified as being BME.

The researchers found that black patients were the most likely to be prescribed a depot injection.

Black and Asian patients with treatment-resistant schizophrenia were also less likely to be prescribed clozapine than white patients.

They also found that all ethnic minority groups other than those of mixed ethnicity were less likely to be offered CBT than white patients.

Meanwhile, Asian patients were found to be less likely than white patients to receive a copy of their care plan.

The researchers noted the wide variation in the provision of antipsychotic medications and psychological therapies between ethnic groups.

They said in the paper: ‘Greater efforts need to be made to ensure that people with psychosis receive interventions and treatments in an equitable manner.

'Further rounds of the audit planned for the coming years will provide evidence of progress being made, to ensure this at both local and national levels.’

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