Psychosis in the Latinx Community: A Review

Odelia Forman, BS Candidate

McLean Hospital – Clinical Research Intern

Scientific Abstract

Background: As the Latinx-American population rises, specialized psychiatric care for people with severe mental illness that is both accessible and destigmatizing grows more essential. In this literature review we assessed psychosis treatment for Latinx-Americans through a sociocultural lens to qualitatively evaluate the experiences of this population. 

Methods: We conducted a literature search via JumboSearch, ScienceDirect, PubMed, and PsycInfo. Keywords included [1] (Latinx) AND (psychosis), [2] (treatment) AND (differences)) AND (Hispanic) AND (psychosis), [3] (Hispanic) AND (cultural competency) AND (treatments) AND (psychosis), and [4] (Latinx) AND (Serious Mental Illness) AND (Treatment success). 

Results: Our search produced 14 viable articles, with approximately 500 rejected due to failure to meet our defined inclusion criteria. Selected articles discussed mental health stigma in Latinx communities, mental health training, and psychosis literacy (Ruiz et al., 2021; Hirai et al., 2020; Lee et al., 2019; Steven et al., 2018; Ben-David et al., 2018). We found that focus on culturally competent mental health services for psychotic illness in Latinx communities is an area that needs attention (Calderon et al., 2021). Psychotic symptoms experienced by Latinx patients may differ from those experienced by other populations (Mischoulon et al., 2005). A lack of diversity in treatment providers make it difficult for Latinx patients to connect with and trust their caregivers (Tondora et al., 2010; Cerdeña et al., 2021; Opler et al., 2004). This, in addition to language barriers and stigma surrounding mental health, leads many Latinx individuals to go without proper treatment (Hernandez et al., 2019; van der Ven et al., 2020; Puyat et al., 2013). 

Conclusions: Latinx-Americans are the largest growing ethnic group in the United States. However, few appropriately tailored treatments exist for Latinx patients who experience psychosis (Patterson et al., 2021). This may deter Latinx people suffering from psychotic disorders from seeking treatment. The consequence is a self-reinforcing psychiatric-care system that perpetually excludes the Latinx-American community.

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research Areas


Odelia Forman, BS*, Samantha Ortiz, BS*, Lena Stone, BS, Madelaine Nye, BA, Kathryn E. Lewandowski, PhD *Denotes co-first authorship

Principal Investigator

Kathryn E. Lewandowski, PhD