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Acta Psychiatr Scand. 1998 Jul; 98(1): 41-6.

A polydiagnostic approach to the differences in the symptoms of schizophrenia in different cultural and ethnic populations.

Maslowski J, Jansen van Rensburg D, Mthoko N.

Department of Psychiatry, Windhoek Central Hospital Complex, Namibia.

This study evaluates the pathoplastic influences of ethnicity and culture on the symptoms of schizophrenia. A sample of 113 schizophrenics was evaluated using the Present State Examination (PSE) and Landmark's Manual for the Assessment of Schizophrenia. The subjects were 57 coloured and 56 black individuals. Six different tribes of Bantu, Negroid and Khoisan origin and with different language and cultural backgrounds were represented among the black subjects. Core symptoms remained basically the same in two groups, but the content of positive symptoms was found to be influenced by culture. However, no statistically significant differences in the presentation of negative symptoms were found in terms of quantity, but there were qualitative differences between the ethnic groups.


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