Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice

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Volume 74 Issue 3 (September 2001), Pages 277-418

Differential psychotic symptomatology in polyglot patients: Case reports and their implications (pages 277-292)

Polyglot psychotic patients can present with either different or less psychotic symptoms depending on the language they use. No known study has used a structured interview to assess such differences. A language history was taken on three patients who were then assessed using the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale structured interview (SCI‐PANSS) for schizophrenia in their two languages. All three patients were found to have different positive symptoms depending on the language used in the interview procedure by the same bilingual researcher. These findings could have important implications in terms of our assessment and treatment of psychotic patients in the NHS. They demonstrate the need to carry out a large study in order to determine how common these findings are in multilingual patients.

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