alexa Physical health care of patients with schizophrenia in primary care: a comparative study


Family Medicine & Medical Science Research

Author(s): Lesley Roberts

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Background. Excess morbidity and mortality associated with schizophrenia is well established. Despite this, no previous multi-centre study has investigated whether patients with schizophrenia receive equitable physical healthcare within primary care. Objective. To determine whether patients with a diagnosis of schizophrenia receive the same levels of physical health care from primary care practitioners as patients without schizophrenia. Methods. Design: Case-matched retrospective case note review. Setting: Twenty-two general practices in the Birmingham area (UK). Subjects: 195 patients with a diagnosis of schizophrenia, 390 matched controls with a diagnosis of asthma and 390 general control patients. Main outcome measures: Proportions of patients within each group having received six pre-defined routine health checks in a 3 year period. Conditional logistic regression models were used to identify differences between groups. Results. Patients with schizophrenia were half as likely as asthma controls to have blood pressure and cholesterol levels recorded (odds ratio 0.51; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.35–0.73 and 0.50; 0.31–0.82, respectively) and were also less likely to have smoking status noted (0.60; 0.41–0.85). Similarly, patients with schizophrenia were significantly less likely than general population controls to have either blood pressure or cholesterol recorded (0.68; 0.47–0.97 and 0.58; 0.35–0.95). The significant differences observed were maintained after adjusting for potential confounders with the exception of cholesterol recording between the asthma and schizophrenia groups (0.57; 0.30–1.05). Conclusions. Patients with a diagnosis of schizophrenia are less likely to receive some important general health checks than patients without schizophrenia.

This article was published in Oxford journals and referenced in Family Medicine & Medical Science Research

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