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Medics missing mental illness diagnosis in more than one in four patients, data suggests

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More than one in four patients with severe mental health conditions are missing diagnosis when they are admitted to hospital for other reasons, new research suggests.

According to data analysed by scientists at University College London, those who are missing these mental illness diagnoses are more likely to be from ethnic minority groups or have a previously diagnosed mental illnesses.

However, the situation has improved – in 2006 it was found that mental health diagnoses were missed in more than 50% of cases.

"We found encouraging signs that clinicians are more frequently identifying severe mental illnesses in hospital patients than they were a decade ago,” Hassan Mansour, a research assistant at UCL psychiatry, said.

“But there's a lot more that can be done, particularly to address disparities between ethnic groups, to ensure that everyone gets the best care available.

Training in culturally-sensitive diagnosis may be needed to reduce inequalities in medical care."

The researchers have suggested these findings may be due to language barriers or stigma felt by patients. It was also suggested that clinicians may be less able to detect these conditions in people from other ethnic and cultural groups.

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Source: The Independent, 18 September 2020

 

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