Improvement of care for the physical health of patients with severe mental illness: a qualitative study assessing the view of patients and familiesReport as inadecuate




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BMC Health Services Research

, 13:426

Healthcare needs and demand

Abstract

BackgroundPatients with severe mental illness SMI experience more physical comorbidity than the general population. Multiple factors, including inadequate seeking of healthcare and health care related factors such as lack of collaboration, underlie this undesirable situation. To improve this situation, the logistics of physical health care for patients with SMI need to be changed. We asked both patients and their families about their views on the current organization of care, and how this care could be improved.

MethodsGroup and individual interviews were conducted with patients and family of patients to explore their needs and preferences concerning the care for the physical health of patients with SMI, and to explore the shortcomings they had experienced. Using thematic analysis, responses were firstly divided into common topics, after which these topics were grouped into themes.

ResultsThree major themes for the improvement of the physical care of patients with SMI were found. Firstly, the reduced ability of patients with SMI to survey their own physical health interests requires health care that is tailored to these needs. Secondly, the lack of collaboration amongst mental health care professionals and general practitioners GPs hinders optimal care. Thirdly, concerns were expressed regarding the implementation of monitoring and supporting a healthy lifestyle. Patients with SMI welcome this implementation, but the logistics of providing this care can be improved.

ConclusionsAn optimal approach for caring for the physical health of patients with SMI requires a professional approach, which is different to the routine care provided to the general public. This approach can and should be accomplished within the usual organizational structure. However, this requires tailoring of the health care to the needs of patients with SMI, as well as structural collaboration between mental health care professionals and GPs.

KeywordsCommunity mental Health services General practice Health promotion Patient participation Qualitative research AbbreviationsSMISevere mental illness

GPGeneral practitioner.

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Author: Fenneke M van Hasselt - Marian JT Oud - Anton JM Loonen

Source: https://link.springer.com/



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