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Presentation: 5:14

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Background: The experience and outcomes of schizophrenia differ significantly across cultures. Previous research has explored differences in schizophrenia between “developed” and “developing” countries, concluding that outcomes were better in developing countries. This rapid review summarizes the effect of culture on the clinical and social outcomes of people living with schizophrenia.

Methods: Two databases were searched for relevant articles: PubMed and Scopus. Using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines, we narrowed our search results from 1164 articles to 10. Studies were included if they investigated people with schizophrenia, assessed cultural or social perceptions, and reported on patient outcomes.

Results: For clinical outcomes, we found that patients from developing countries had fewer symptoms and lower relapse rates than developed countries. There were mixed findings on duration of illness and untreated psychosis. For social outcomes, we found that overall patient social function was greater in developing nations. They also were better inserted into the family dynamic. Mixed results were found in education and employment status. Also, we found that the public in developing countries reported positive social interaction with people with schizophrenia. There were more negative stereotypes of people with schizophrenia in developed nations.

Conclusion: In this review, we concluded that patients with schizophrenia in developing countries have better clinical and social outcomes than those in developed countries. These findings reveal the need for increased representation of developing countries in schizophrenia research. Culture has a vital role in schizophrenia; further research will provide insight into the disease.