Quality of care for cardiovascular disease and diabetes amongst individuals with serious mental illness and those using antipsychotic medications.

David Scott, Chris Platania-Phung, Brenda Happell

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


Individuals living with serious mental illness (SMI) experience excess mortality due to natural causes. Cardiovascular disease (CVD) and diabetes are twice as prevalent in SMI populations as in the general population, and this may be partly related to unhealthy lifestyle behaviors and the use of antipsychotic medications. This review examined comparative studies of quality of care in SMI and non-SMI populations, and studies investigating cardio-metabolic screening in patients prescribed antipsychotics. We identified that individuals with SMI are around 30% less likely than those without SMI to receive hospital care for CVD and diabetes complications, to receive blood glucose, lipid, and other diabetes tests, to undergo invasive procedures, and to be prescribed medications known to be effective in the treatment of CVD and diabetes. In addition, less than 30% of individuals with SMI may receive examinations for weight, blood glucose, and lipids, before or during treatment with antipsychotics. Evidence from studies within the U.S.' Veteran Affairs health care system indicates that the integration of physical and mental health services may be beneficial in reducing disparities in health care for individuals with SMI. Clear policies, which identify practitioner responsibilities for cardio-metabolic screening in patients receiving antipsychotic therapy must be disseminated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-21
Number of pages7
JournalJournal for healthcare quality : official publication of the National Association for Healthcare Quality
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2012
Externally publishedYes

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