Trends in Maori mental health in Otago

  • Edmonds L
  • Williams S
  • Walsh A
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Objective: This paper outlines the methods used, and preliminary descriptive data collected, in a study on a cohort of Maori and non-Maori patients admitted to the inpatient psychiatric services in Otago between 1990 and 1992.; Method: The notes of 42 Maori and 217 non-Maori first admissions to psychiatric inpatients were reviewed. Information concerning this admission was entered onto a database and analysed.; Results: The Maori admission rate was 4 per 1000 compared with 1 per 1000 for non-Maori people. This was higher than expected based on Otago population figures. Rates of family psychiatric history did not differ between Maori and non-Maori. Although Maori were found to have higher rates of social welfare support and were more likely to have no academic qualifications the differences were not significant. The sources of referral for Maori admissions were more likely to be from the law, and Maori were more likely to have had prior psychiatric inpatient treatment. The most common diagnosis for Maori and non-Maori was depressive disorders, and suicidal behaviour was common.; Conclusions: Maori are overrepresented among first psychiatric inpatient admissions in Otago. They appear to be a more disadvantaged group with respect to financial support, academic qualifications and other health problems. The most common diagnosis did not differ between Maori and non-Maori cohorts.;

Author-supplied keywords

  • Maori health
  • Otago
  • Psychiatric admissions
  • Trends

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  • Liza K. Edmonds

  • Sheila Williams

  • Anne E.S. Walsh

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