Ethnic variations in pathways to and use of specialist mental health services in the UK: Systematic review
Bhui K., Stansfeld S., Hull S., Priebe S., Mole F., Feder G.
Background: Inequalities of service use across ethnic groups are important to policy makers, service providers and service users. Aims: To identify ethnic variations in pathways to specialist mental health care, continuity of contact, voluntary and compulsory psychiatric in-patient admissions; to assess the methodological strength of the findings. Method: A systematic review of all quantitative studies comparing use of mental health services by more than one ethnic group in the UK. Narrative analysis supplemented by meta-analysis, where appropriate. Results: Most studies compared Black and White patients, finding higher rates of in-patient admission among Black patients. The pooled odds ratio for compulsory admission, Black patients compared with White patients, was 4.31 (95% CI 3.33-5.58). Black patients had more complex pathways to specialist care, with some evidence of ethnic variations in primary care assessments. Conclusions: There is strong evidence of variation between ethnic groups for voluntary and compulsory admissions, and some evidence of variation in pathways to specialist care.