Correlates of hallucinations in schizophrenia: A cross-cultural evaluation

P. Thomas, P. Mathur, I. I. Gottesman, R. Nagpal, V. L. Nimgaonkar, S. N. Deshpande

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53 Scopus citations


Introduction: Demographic, clinical and familial factors may plausibly influence the manifestation of hallucinations. It is unclear if the pattern of the effects is similar in different environmental/cultural settings. Aims: To evaluate factors associated with hallucination from a demographic, clinical and familial perspective in two distinct cultural settings. Methods: Patients with a clinical diagnosis of schizophrenia (SZ) or schizoaffective disorder (SZA) were diagnosed systematically using DSM IV criteria. Two independent samples were recruited in India and USA using identical inclusion/exclusion criteria and assessment procedures (n = 1287 patients total; 807 Indian and 480 US participants). The association of key demographic and clinical factors with hallucinations of different modalities was examined. To evaluate the impact of familial factors, we separately analyzed correlations among affected sibling pairs (ASPs, n = 136, Indian; n = 77, US). Results: The prevalence of different modalities of hallucinations differed in the Indian and US samples, though the rank order of frequency was similar. The pattern of associations between selected variables and the risk of hallucinations was different across cultures, except for some correlations with indices of severity. No significant concordance was observed among the ASPs after correcting for multiple comparisons. Conclusions: The factors associated with hallucinations vary across environments. Our results are consistent with a multi-factorial etiology of psychopathology, but re-direct attention to endophenotypic features in the causal chain that precede the symptoms themselves.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41-49
Number of pages9
JournalSchizophrenia Research
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - May 2007

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding for this study was provided by NIH Grants: MH01489, MH56242 and MH53459, R03 TW00730, and Indo‐US Project Agreement no. N‐443‐645). The NIH had no further role in study design; in the collection, analysis and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; and in the decision to submit the paper for publication.


  • Concordance
  • Cross-cultural
  • Endophenotype
  • Genetic
  • Hallucination
  • Schizoaffective disorder
  • Schizophrenia

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