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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Effective Models Urgently Needed to Improve Physical Care for People With Serious Mental Illnesses.

  • Author(s): Chang, Evelyn T
  • Vinzon, Merlyn
  • Cohen, Amy N
  • Young, Alexander S
  • et al.

People with serious mental illness have substantially worse health outcomes than people without mental illness. These patients use primary care less often and fail to receive needed preventive and chronic care. While a variety of care models have been implemented with the goal of improving care for these patients, few have been found to be effective. Young et al describes a specialty patient-centered medical home for patients with serious mental illness. In this model, the primary care provider manages the medical and mental health conditions of patients with stable psychiatric symptoms with assistance from a registered nurse and a consulting psychiatrist. The goal of this integrated model is to engage patients in preventive care by building a relationship with them in primary care and understanding both their medical and psychiatric needs. While this model may improve care and increase patient satisfaction, implementing this type of model may be challenging.

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