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J Psychosom Res. 2017 Apr;95:26-32. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychores.2017.02.004. Epub 2017 Feb 7.

Liaison psychiatry professionals' views of general hospital care for patients with mental illness: The care of patients with mental illness in the general hospital setting.

Author information

1
South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, Maudsley Hospital, London, United Kingdom. Electronic address: joanne.noblett@kcl.ac.uk.
2
South West London and St George's NHS Trust, Springfield Hospital, London, United Kingdom.
3
South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, Maudsley Hospital, London, United Kingdom; Health Service and Population Research Department, King's College London, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, United Kingdom.
4
King's College London, London, United Kingdom.
5
Health Service and Population Research Department, King's College London, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, United Kingdom.
6
South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, Maudsley Hospital, London, United Kingdom.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Explore the experiences of liaison psychiatry professionals, to gain a greater understanding of the quality of care patients with mental illness receive in the general hospital setting; the factors that affect the quality of care; and their insights on interventions that could improve care.

METHODS:

A survey questionnaire and qualitative in depth interviews were used to collect data. Data collection took place at the Royal College of Psychiatrists Faculty of Liaison Psychiatry Annual conference. Qualitative analysis was done using thematic analysis.

RESULTS:

Areas of concern in the quality of care of patients with co-morbid mental illness included 'diagnostic overshadowing', 'poor communication with patient', 'patient dignity not respected' and 'delay in investigation or treatment'. Eleven contributing factors were identified, the two most frequently mentioned were 'stigmatising attitudes of staff towards patients with co-morbid mental illness' and 'complex diagnosis'. The general overview of care was positive with areas for improvement highlighted. Interventions suggested included 'formal education' and 'changing the liaison psychiatry team'.

CONCLUSION:

The cases discussed highlighted several areas where the quality of care received by patients with co-morbid mental illness is lacking, the consequences of which could be contributing to physical health disparities. It was acknowledged that it is the dual responsibility of both the general hospital staff and liaison staff in improving care.

KEYWORDS:

Diagnostic overshadowing; General hospital; Mental illness stigma; Physical health disparity

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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