A Doctor is in the House: Stakeholder Focus Groups About Expanded Scope of Practice of Community Psychiatrists.
Published Web Locationhttps://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10597-017-0198-4
We sought to understand stakeholder perspectives on barriers to metabolic screening for people with severe mental illness. We additionally assessed the feasibility of expanding psychiatrists' scope of practice to include treatment of cardiometabolic abnormalities. We conducted four focus groups among patients with severe mental illness, community psychiatrists, primary care providers, and public health administrators. Focus group transcripts were thematically analyzed. Three domains emerged: challenges with patient navigation of the complex health care system, problem list prioritization difficulties, and concern that treatment of cardiometabolic abnormalities were beyond the scope of practice of psychiatrists. Stakeholders agreed that navigating the health care system was challenging for this population and led to undertreatment of cardiometabolic risk factors. Expansion of psychiatrists' scope of practice within community mental health appears acceptable to patients and may be a mechanism to improve cardiometabolic care among people with severe mental illness.