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Gaps in health care for the somatic health of outpatients with severe mental illness

By Fenneke M. van Hasselt, Susanne G. Schorr, Evert J. Mookhoek, Jacobus R. B. J. Brouwers, Anton J. M. Loonen and Katja Taxis

Abstract

<p>The physical health of outpatients with severe mental illness (SMI) can be improved by changes in the health-care system. Analysis of current practice is necessary to develop these strategies. We compared the number of somatic health problems of outpatients with SMI with the frequency of consulting a general practitioner (GP). This was a cross-sectional study based on interviews, and records from the GP and the pharmacy. We checked whether Dutch community pharmacies had complete and correct information about the patients' medication. We observed that all patients (n=118) had somatic problems in need of clinical attention. Patients who visited their GP less than once a year (35%, n=42), had a mean of 2.8 somatic health problems. This was less than patients who consulted their GP more than once a year (P0.01). In 37% of cases, the pharmacy did not have adequate information on the drug use. Many patients with SMI seemed to have insufficient contact with their GP for their somatic health problems. Insufficient information about the patients' medication suggested that the pharmacist and GP should increase exchange of information. Mental health nurses can take a lead in coordinating the care to improve somatic health for their patients.</p>

Topics: community pharmacy services, community mental health services; comorbidity; health services accessibility; health status; mental illnesses; COMMUNITY PSYCHIATRIC-SERVICES; PHYSICAL HEALTH; MEDICAL COMORBIDITY; CARDIOVASCULAR RISK; SCHIZOPHRENIA; PREVALENCE; DISORDERS; MORTALITY; PEOP
Year: 2013
DOI identifier: 10.1111/j.1447-0349.2012.00859.x
OAI identifier: oai:pure.rug.nl:publications/c859317c-060c-404e-bd14-bedde8b28d26
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