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AIDS. 2005 Oct;19 Suppl 3:S227-37.

Integrating care for patients with infectious, psychiatric, and substance use disorders: concepts and approaches.

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National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, Bethesda, MD 20892-9304, USA.


Patients with chronic viral infections such as HIV/AIDS or hepatitis C often have multiple co-existing problems such as psychiatric and addictive disorders, as well as social problems such as lack of housing, transportation and income that present challenging obstacles to successful management. Because services for these different problems are usually provided by different disciplines in varying locations, fragmentation of care can lead to treatment dropouts, lack of adherence, and poor outcomes. Integration strategies, ranging from simple efforts to improve communication and coordinate care to fully integrated multidisciplinary teams have been used to improve disease management. Although evidence for effectiveness is comprised primarily of observational studies of demonstration programmes, integration may be desirable on a pragmatic basis alone. Quality improvement strategies are attractive vehicles for implementing care integration and measuring its impact. Careful assessment of the problem to be solved and the development of targeted strategies will maximize chances of a successful outcome.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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