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Aims and method: There is limited evidence on ethnic differences in personality disorder prevalence rates. We compared rates of people with personality disorder admitted to hospital in East London from 2007 to 2013. Results: Of all people admitted to hospital, 9.7% had a personality disorder diagnosis. The admission rate for personality disorder has increased each year. Compared with White subjects, personality disorder was significantly less prevalent among Black and other minority ethnic (BME) groups. Personality disorder was diagnosed in 20% of forensic, 11% of general adult, 8% of adolescent and 2% of old-age in-patients. Clinical implications: The increasing number of personality disorder diagnoses year on year indicates the increasing impact of personality disorder on in-patient services. It is important to identify and appropriately manage patients with a personality disorder diagnosis due to the significant strain they place on resources. The reasons for fewer admissions of BME patients may reflect alternative service use, a truly lower prevalence rate or under-detection.

Original publication




Journal article


BJPsych Bulletin

Publication Date





157 - 161