Category: Schizophrenia / Psychotic Disorders

Symposium

Symposium 37 - Immigrant Status and the Duration of Untreated Psychosis in U.S. Latinos With First-Episode Psychosis

Friday, November 17
1:45 PM - 3:15 PM
Location: Indigo Ballroom E, Level 2, Indigo Level

Keywords: Hispanic American/ Latinx | Psychosis / Psychotic Disorders | Community-Based Assessment / Intervention
Presentation Type: Symposium

There are seemingly contradictory findings in the mental health literature regarding immigrants.  There is evidence that immigrant adults have lower prevalence rates of mental disorders than U.S.-born individuals.  This has been referred to as the immigrant paradox and suggests a pattern of resilience.  There is also evidence that immigrant status confers risk.  European studies have found that immigrants and their offspring have greater incidence rates of psychotic disorders than native-born individuals.  In this symposium, we offer evidence that both resilience and risk can exist together in immigrants from Latin America (largely Mexico) with their first episode of psychosis (FEP).  In the first study, carried over a two-year period, we examine the age of onset of psychotic disorders.  In support of their resilience, we find that immigrants have a significantly later age of onset of psychosis than U.S. born Latinos. In the second study, we assess the duration of untreated psychosis (DUP) and find that immigrant Latinos have a significantly longer DUP than U.S.-born Latinos, suggesting risk for poor outcomes. In the third study, Hernandez et al. draw on qualitative interviews of a subsample of both immigrants and nonimmigrants and examine pathways to care of 21 individuals with FEP and their caregivers to identify potential barriers to care. In the final study, we report the findings of focus groups to evaluate two brief Spanish language videos to increase psychosis literacy of community residents. Together these studies suggest that immigration status for Latinos begins as an advantage given their later age of onset, but over time turns into a disadvantage given their longer duration of untreated psychosis.  Efforts to address the challenges that Latino immigrants with FEP face in obtaining appropriate care are needed.  One promising direction to increase the psychosis literacy of community residents is the use of the videos in community campaigns.  This is consistent with initiatives across the world to reduce DUP as doing so is associated with positive clinical and social outcomes.

Learning Objectives:

Steven R. Lopez

Professor of Psychology and Social Work
University of Southern California

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    David L. Penn

    Wagner-Martin Distinguished Professor
    University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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      Daisy Lopez

      University of Southern California

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      Alex Kopelowicz

      Vice-Chair and Professor of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences
      UCLA School of Medicine

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      Maria Hernandez

      Assistant Professor of Social Work
      California State University, Los Angeles

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      Diana Gamez

      University of Southern California

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