Background. The cause of increased schizophrenia rates among immigrants in Europe is unknown. This study explores psychotic features in persons aspiring and actively planning to emigrate, prior to their potential emigration.
Method. Potential future emigrants and controls in Kampala (Uganda) were screened for delusional ideation and manic symptoms, using the Peters et al. Delusions Inventory (PDI) and mania items from the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI).
Results. Aspirations regarding emigration were associated with increased delusional ideation compared with controls (p=0·01), whereas active plans regarding emigration were not. Neither aspiring nor actively planning to emigrate was associated with increased manic symptoms. Subjects with increased delusional ideation also had increased manic symptoms (p<0·001).
Conclusions. Although some aspects of delusional ideation might include thoughts concerning emigration, practical circumstances (e.g. visa requirements, travel costs) probably prevent emigration of the psychosis-prone in many settings.