Viewing by month: April 2014
Individuals with severe mental illness (SMI) including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, schizoaffective disorder, and major depressive disorder are prone to many different physical health problems. Although these diseases are also prevalent in the general population, they have a greater impact on individuals with severe mental illnesses. Many factors contribute to the poor physical health of individuals with severe mental illness, including disparities in health care access and utilization as well as provision of healthcare services. Studies have shown that individuals with severe mental illness have an excess mortality, being two to three times as high as that of the general population. This mortality gap translates to a thirteen to thirty year shortened life expectancy (Hert, et al. 2011). How can physical health monitoring and access to healthcare be improved among patients with severe mental illness? What are some of the barriers to monitoring physical health in this patient population? We attempt to address some of these issues in A Summary for Monitoring Physical Health and Side-Effects of Psychiatric Medications in the Severely Mentally Ill Population and appreciate your thoughts and comments on these very important issues.