Physical healthcare of people with severe mental illness: everybody's business!
Source: Mental Health in Family Medicine, Volume 7, Number 2, June 2010 , pp. 115-122(8)
Publisher: Radcliffe Publishing Ltd.
Abstract:Aim: People with severe mental illness are at higher risk of physical health problems. Guidelines recommend annual monitoring. An audit cycle was completed on individuals with severe mental illness under the care of an early interventions in psychosis (EIP) service to evaluate and improve physical health monitoring practice.Methods: The number of patients who had undergone a physical health check in the previous year, and those having a record of it in their EIP notes, was examined. Interventions made between baseline audit and re-audit included improving awareness within the multidisciplinary EIP mental health team about the importance of physical health monitoring of people with severe mental illness and liaison with primary care health services.Results: The number of patients undergoing at least one annual physical health check increased from 20% to 58%. Among patients who had undergone a physical health check at re-audit, a record of some or all the checks was available in the notes for 75% of patients.Clinical implications: There is a need to improve awareness among mental health professionals about the importance of the physical health of people with severe mental illness and to make appropriate organisational changes.
Document Type: Research article
Publication date: 2010-06-01