Gender Disparities in First Episode Psychosis Programs

Poster A83, Monday, October 8, 11:30 am - 1:00 pm, Essex Ballroom

Erin Whitcomb-Crafton1, Marielle Demarais1, Stamatis Zeris1, Clare Moser1, Lindley Braaten1; 1Hennepin Healthcare

Research on Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorders shows that there are essentially no differences in population occurrence rate between genders. However, when it comes to the treatment of these disorders men are more likely to be referred to a First Episode of Psychosis (FEP) program. Indeed, in one FEP program located in a county hospital of an urban area, the ratio is about 8:1 male to female engagement. Given that women are more likely to engage in treatment than men in the general mental health setting, why might there be a difference in FEP programs? The present study is a preliminary investigation on the gender disparities in FEP programs. Multiple hypotheses will be explored to explain the discrepancy including symptom expression of Psychosis between men and women and the potential for misdiagnosis among women. Research suggests that women tend to experience more affective symptoms compared to men and may be more likely to be diagnosed with a primary affective disorder rather than a Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorder. Alternatively, the relatively later onset of psychosis for women may prevent them from entering into a FEP program due to referral source biases or exclusion criteria of a FEP program. Results from one FEP program will be reported and discussed within the context of relevant literature.

Topic Area: First Episode Psychosis

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