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Review: Black and minority ethnic people are more likely to be detained under the Mental Health Act 1983—no clear evidence why

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Swaran P Singh

Correspondence to: Swaran P Singh, Health Sciences Research Institute, Warwick Medical School, Coventry CV4 7AL, UK; S.P.Singh@warwick.ac.uk

QUESTION

Question:

Compared with White people, how frequently are people from Black and Minority Ethnic groups detained under the Mental Health Act 1983?

Outcomes:

Rates of compulsory detention under the Mental Health Act.

METHODS

Design:

Systematic review with meta-analysis.

Data sources:

MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, PsycINFO, ASSIA, SIGLE, HMIC, Web of Science, Cochrane database and the National Research Register; 1984 to April 2005. CD-ROM for the British National Bibliography was also searched for relevant literature.

Study selection and analysis:

English language studies relating to compulsory detention under the Mental Health Act 1983 and including terms related to mental illness or forensic psychiatry, and with inclusion of ⩾2 ethnic groups (any non-White). Odds of compulsory detention of people from Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) groups compared with White groups were combined using a fixed effects meta-analysis. Meta-regression was then used to explore reasons for heterogeneity between studies. It was based on subgroup analyses according to episode (first, second, etc), patient type (for example, civil or …

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