, Volume 7, Issue 4, pp 225-228

Relationship Between Preventative Physical Health Care and Mental Health in Individuals with Schizophrenia: A Survey of Caregivers

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The relationship between preventative physical health care and mental health in individuals with schizophrenia was assessed retrospectively by questionnaires completed by 504 caregivers. Psychiatric symptom severity and quality-of-life data on 332 respondents were evaluable. Suboptimal preventative physical health care was defined as absence of ≥2 examinations within a specified time: physical and dental within 12 months, eye within 24 months. Findings revealed similar use of mental health care services for all individuals, but those in the suboptimal physical health care group (n = 93 [28%]) had a lower quality of life (p < .011), more negative symptoms (p < .009), less paid employment (p < .001), and more alcohol/drug abuse (p = .02). These findings suggest that mental health care providers should play a more active role in monitoring the basic physical health care of patients with schizophrenia.