Characteristics of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living with psychosis
Feb 25, 2022
The Mental Elf blog has recently published a research summary titled “Indigenous people living with psychosis in Australia: A novel example of clinical research and implications for population health.” The study aimed to look at co-occurring illness as well as risk factors among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from Cape York and the Torres Strait Islands, diagnosed with psychosis over a 23-year period from 1992-2015. It has been estimated that Indigenous people from Cape York and the Torres Strait Islands have around 4 times the prevalence of psychotic disorders than the rest of the Australia population. Sixty percent of participants had a co-occurring mental health or substance use disorder, and forty-five percent of people had a physical comorbidity.
There were more risk factors present in Aboriginal people compared with people from the Torres Strait Islands including environmental risks as well as biological or neurodevelopmental risks. This report highlights how focusing on reducing these risk factors - particularly in early childhood - could help to prevent the development of psychosis later in life.