Somatic Healthcare Utilization Among Adults With Serious Mental Illness Who Are Receiving Community Psychiatric Services
Background/Objective. Somatic health care utilization was studied among individuals with serious mental illness who were receiving community-based psychiatric services.
Research Design. Cross-sectional study.
Subjects: A total of 200 outpatients, 100 with schizophrenia and 100 with affective disorder, were recruited from randomly selected samples receiving care at two psychiatric centers.
Measures. Patients were interviewed using questions from national health surveys. Multiple logistic regression analyses were used to compare responses from each sample to those of matched subsets of individuals from the general population.
Results. The psychiatric samples were more likely to report receiving some medical care services in the past year than were individuals in the general population including having visited a general medical doctor (Odds ratio, schizophrenia sample = 2.04; Odds ratio, affective disorder sample = 2.37) and having a complete physical examination (Odds ratio, schizophrenia sample = 2.69; Odds ratio, affective disorder sample = 1.74). However, our samples were less likely to receive routine dental care (Odds ratio, schizophrenia sample = 0.46; Odds ratio, affective disorder sample = 0.60). Perceived barriers to receiving medical care were reported significantly more often by the patient groups than the comparison groups (Odds ratios > 3).
Conclusions. General health services are widely utilized by individuals with serious mental illness who are in outpatient psychiatric care. Dental services remain underutilized, however, and there is a high rate of perceived barriers to receiving medical care in this population. (Authors)
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