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Int J Psychiatry Med. 2011;41(4):379-87.

Barriers to metabolic care for adults with serious mental illness: provider perspectives.

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  • 1University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, USA.


This study assessed barriers to metabolic care for persons with serious mental illness (SMI) by surveying experienced healthcare providers. Sixty-eight medical, mental health, and other stakeholders who care for patients with SMI attended a CME conference focused on medical management of SMI patients in 2007. They completed a 27-item survey assessing barriers to and systemic responsibility for metabolic care. The top three ranked barriers were: "separate mental health and primary care systems," "patient's lack of resources," and "[mental health] providers are not trained to do basic primary care." Results indicated that ratings of CMHC responsibility for SMI metabolic care (M = 5.2, SD = 1.5) were significantly lower than ratings of public health (M = 5.7, SD = 1.4), t(66) = 2.3, p = 0.027, and primary care providers (M = 6.3, SD = 1.1), t(67) = 4.7,p <0.001. Experienced providers identified a lack of integrated care and patient characteristics as important barriers to metabolic care and concluded that the primary care and public health systems are primarily responsible for metabolic treatment.

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