Psychiatric diagnosis across cultural boundaries

J. Westermeyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

90 Scopus citations


Diagnosis across cultural boundaries has become a practical rather than an esoteric matter as migration, the number of effective psychiatric therapies, and access to psychiatric care have increased. Cross-cultural diagnosis involves such theoretical considerations as diagnostic categories, pathoplasticity of psychiatric disorder, so-called culture-bound syndromes, 'emic' (intracultural) versus 'etic' (cross-cultural) conceptual frameworks, and different reporting of symptoms and expression of signs from one cultural group to another. Important clinical issues include distinguishing cultural belief systems from delusions and understanding the special problems of minority, migrant, and refugee patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)798-805
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Psychiatry
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1985
Externally publishedYes


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