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Research Article Open Access
Aim: In this study it was aimed to pilot testing a Danish health clinic in a community mental health centre where patients with severe mental illness (SMI) and increased risk of developing fatal coronary heart disease are offered screening and prevention by a primary care physician and nurse.
Methods: 19 patients (16 with schizophrenia and 3 with affective illnesses) out of a total of 22 fulfilled the inclusion criteria. In all, 15(79%) patients were included in the project, which encompassed four consultations over a 12-week period. At each of the four consultations, lifestyle interventions were performed. A total of 12(63%) patients completed all four consultations. Reasons for dropout were investigated. At the first and last consultation, data were collected in order to assess the risk of developing fatal cardiovascular disease.
Results: All patients attending the health clinic were screened. Among the 12 patients who completed, several known risk factors for the development of fatal cardiovascular disease were reduced, including a reduction in smoking. Other effects were increased physical activity and a healthier diet. Two patients received medical treatment for hypertension and hypercholesterolemia, respectively.
Conclusions: On-site, integrated primary care in a community mental health clinic was associated with improved quality of medical care for SMI patients. It was possible to recruit and retain the patients in a health clinic. There was a positive effect on risk factors for the development of cardiovascular disease, but the results must be interpreted with caution as it is a pilot study.
Severe mental illness, Risk of cardiovascular disease, Integrated care, Community Medicine