Physical health monitoring

How is physical health monitoring relevant to people with schizophrenia?

People with severe mental disorders can be at increased risk of a number of physical conditions. This may be due to lifestyle factors such as poor diet and lack of exercise, but also some treatments for schizophrenia can have adverse physical side effects. Furthermore, people with schizophrenia may be hesitant to seek medical advice.

What is the evidence for physical health monitoring?

Moderate quality evidence finds people with any severe mental disorder such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or major depression, are prescribed medication for physical disorders less often than people without a severe mental disorder. Moderate to high quality evidence finds a medium-sized effect of less mammography screening in women with schizophrenia.

Medical hospital inpatients with schizophrenia experience more adverse events than medical hospital inpatients without a psychiatric disorder. Common adverse events include; longer hospital stays, receiving a blood transfusion, experiencing post-operative infection, post-operative anaemia, post-operative sepsis, pulmonary insufficiency, respiratory failure, deep vein thrombosis, and mechanical interventions.

Moderate to high quality evidence suggests there is greater risk of rehospitalisation to a medical hospital following discharge. However, there is greater uptake of prevention services with general health advice.

August 2020

Last updated at: 4:14 am, 17th August 2020
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