Psychiatric Disorder Criteria and their Application to Research in Different Racial Groups

Low, Nancy C. P.; Hardy, John
January 2007
BMC Psychiatry;2007, Vol. 7, p1
Academic Journal
Background: The advent of standardized classification and assessment of psychiatric disorders, and considerable joint efforts among many countries has led to the reporting of international rates of psychiatric disorders, and inevitably, their comparison between different racial groups. Results: In neurologic diseases with defined genetic etiologies, the same genetic cause has different phenotypes in different racial groups. Conclusion: We suggest that genetic differences between races mean that diagnostic criteria refined in one racial group, may not be directly and simply applicable to other racial groups and thus more effort needs to be expended on defining diseases in other groups. Cross-racial confounds (in addition to cultural confounds) make the interpretation of rates in different groups even more hazardous than seems to have been appreciated.


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