Acculturation is associated with the prevalence of tardive dyskinesia and akathisia in community-treated patients with schizophrenia

S. Sundram, T. Lambert, D. Piskulic

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Objective: Ethnicity is a risk factor for tardive dyskinesia (TD) and other antipsychotic drug-induced movement disorders (ADIMD). It is unclear whether this association is mediated through genetic, environmental or cultural factors individually or in combination. This pilot study aimed to explore this interaction by determining if acculturation in migrant groups contributed to the prevalence of ADIMD. Method: Culturally diverse but relatively genetically homogeneous (white Caucasian) patients with schizophrenia (n = 40) treated at a single site were assessed for the presence of ADIMD and level of acculturation. Results: Higher levels of acculturation correlated with an increased prevalence of TD and akathisia but not Parkinsonism. The level of acculturation significantly predicted TD. Conclusion: This study identifies for the first time that acculturation significantly contributes to the prevalence of TD and akathisia but not Parkinsonism in culturally diverse migrant populations and must be accounted for when explaining ethnic variation in rates of ADIMD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)474-478
Number of pages5
JournalActa Psychiatrica Scandinavica
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Acculturation
  • Antipsychotic drug-induced movement disorders
  • Ethnicity
  • Schizophrenia
  • Tardive dyskinesia

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