Physical health monitoring

How is physical health monitoring relevant to people with bipolar disorder?

People with severe mental disorders such as bipolar disorder may be at increased risk for physical conditions. Many treatments, such as antipsychotics, can be associated with adverse side effects; furthermore, some people with severe mental disorders may be hesitant to seek advice from a medical professional. A program of well organised and regular physical health monitoring could be beneficial for these patients.

What is the evidence regarding physical health monitoring?

Moderate to high quality evidence suggests a small effect of greater risk of medical hospital rehospitalisation in people with bipolar disorder or other severe mental illness after discharge from medical hospitals.

Moderate to high quality evidence suggests people with a severe mental illness are prescribed medication for physical disorders less often than people without a mental disorder.

Moderate to low quality evidence suggests people with bipolar disorder were younger at acute myocardial infarction (64.2 years vs. 66.8 years), less likely to receive percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty or coronary artery bypass graft, and less likely to be diagnosed in medical centres or teaching hospitals than people without a mental illness.

Moderate quality evidence suggests greater uptake of prevention services by people with a severe mental illness after being given general health advice.

April 2019

Last updated at: 12:55 am, 8th April 2019
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