Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Worldwide Treatment Gap Found for People With Schizophrenia

In low- and middle-income countries, most people with schizophrenic disorders go without treatment, according to a report in the Bulletin of the World Health Organization. The study used data collected in 50 countries between 2005 and 2010 to define a treatment gap, that is, "the proportion of individuals affected by schizophrenic disorders who fail to receive treatment,” wrote Antonio Lora, M.D., of Ospedale de Lecco in Lecco, Italy, and colleagues.

Overall, about 69 percent of those people were not receiving treatment, but the gap was greater in lower-income countries (89 percent) and lower-middle-income countries (69 percent) than in upper-middle-income countries (63 percent). Most psychosis treatment takes place in outpatient settings, and the main factor limiting care appears to be the number of psychiatrists and nurses working in specialized mental health facilities.

But the gap may be even greater than these data suggest, the authors noted. “We did not assess treatment adequacy,” they said. “Hence, our data could be greatly overestimating the number of people who received appropriate treatment.”

Read more about international aspects of mental health epidemiology in Psychiatric News.

(Image:  L.Watcharapol/Shutterstock.com)


The content of Psychiatric News does not necessarily reflect the views of APA or the editors. Unless so stated, neither Psychiatric News nor APA guarantees, warrants, or endorses information or advertising in this newspaper. Clinical opinions are not peer reviewed and thus should be independently verified.