Adult psychotic symptoms, their associated risk factors and changes in prevalence in men and women over a decade in a poor rural district of Kenya
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There have been no repeat surveys of psychotic symptoms in Kenya or indeed subSaharan Africa. A mental health epidemiological survey was therefore conducted in a demographic surveillance site of a Kenyan household population in 2013 to test the hypothesis that the prevalence of psychotic symptoms would be similar to that found in an earlier sample drawn from the same sample frame in 2004, using the same overall methodology and instruments. This 2013 study found that the prevalence of one or more psychotic symptoms was 13.9% with one or more symptoms and 3.8% with two or more symptoms, while the 2004 study had found that the prevalence of single psychotic symptoms in rural Kenya was 8% of the adult population, but only 0.6% had two symptoms and none had three or more psychotic symptoms. This change was accounted for by a striking increase in psychotic symptoms in women (17.8% in 2013 compared with 6.9% in 2004, p < 0.001), whereas there was no significant change in men (10.6% in 2013 compared with 9.4% in 2004, p = 0.582). Potential reasons for this increase in rate of psychotic symptoms in women are explored.