A systematic review of inequalities in the mental health experiences of Black African, Black Caribbean and Black-mixed UK populations: implications for action
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AbstractBackground: Measurable differences in the experience and treatment of mental health conditions have been found to exist between different racial categories of community groups. The objective of this research was to review the reported mental health of Black African-Caribbean communities in the UK, determinants of mental health, and interventions to enhance their experiences of mental health services. Method: The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) Statement was applied. To be included, papers must be: published in a peer reviewed journal; report on adult populations (over 18) from any of Black African, Black Caribbean or Black mixed people in the UK; and assess (quantitative), or discuss (qualitative) mental health experiences, determinants of mental health, or interventions intended to enhance experiences of mental health services among the target population. The aims, inclusion criteria, data extraction, and data quality evaluation were specified in advance. Searches were conducted using EBSCO (PsychInfo; MEDLINE; CINAHL Plus; psychology and behavioural sciences collection). The search strategy included search terms relating to the aim (see Appendix 1). Risk of bias was assessed using a standard tool, records were organised using Endnote, and data were extracted and synthesised using Microsoft Excel. Results: Thirty-six studies were included, of which 26 were quantitative and six reported exclusively on Black participants. Black populations were less likely to access mental health support via traditional pathways due to stigma and mistrust of mental health services. Black Africans especially, sought alternative help from community leaders, which increased the likelihood of accessing treatment at the point of crisis or breakdown, which in turn increased risk of being detained under the Mental Health Act and via the criminal justice system. Discussion: Findings suggest a cycle of poor mental health, coercive treatment, stigma, and mistrust of services as experienced by Black communities. Evidence was limited by poorly defined ethnic categories, especially where Black populations were subsumed into one category. It is recommended that mental health services work collaboratively with cultural and faith communities in supporting Black people to cope with mental illness, navigate mental health pathways, and provide culturally appropriate advice.
CitationDevonport, T., Ward, G., Morrissey, H., Burt, C., Patel, R., Manning, R., Paredes, R. and Nicholls, W. (in press) A systematic review of inequalities in the mental health experiences of Black African, Black Caribbean and Black-mixed UK populations: implications for action. Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities.
JournalJournal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities
DescriptionThis is an accepted manuscript of an article due to be published by Springer. The accepted version of the publication may differ from the final published version. For re-use please see the publisher's terms and conditions.
SponsorsWe would like to acknowledge the Public Health Division in Birmingham City Council who commissioned and funded this systematic review.