This qualitative study explored the relationship between premature mortality and patients diagnosed with SMI and a co-morbid medical condition. The interviews with participants sought to address the research question: What is the treatment experience medical and psychological, of patients with SMI, and comorbid physical health concerns? Using the phenomenological research design, six patients diagnosed with SMI and a comorbid medical condition were interviewed to gain an understanding of their perceptions of both medical and psychological healthcare services.
Participants were found to have a detached patient-doctor relationship, which was tied to communication barriers. Long histories of traumatic interactions were also contributing factors to their mental health challenges. A sense of helplessness often presented itself, despite long-term treatment, multiple treatment modalities and medications. The majority of the participants perceived a connection between their mental health and biophysical health. They received predominantly physical wellness advice from their primary care physician, but reported being encouraged to follow-up with their mental health professional. Participants felt that collaboration between their various health care providers would be helpful to their treatment process. The key benefits of this collaboration were to prevent misdiagnosis and improve the prescribing of medication and treatment. From the viewpoint of the SMI participant, it emerged that cross-functional mental health treatment training, out-of-office patient support, and routine treatment re-evaluation would assist both health service providers in diagnosis and treatment of SMI patients with additional biomedical illnesses.
|Commitee:||Austin, Jason, Thornton, Matthew|
|School:||University of Louisiana at Monroe|
|Department:||Marriage and Family Therapy|
|School Location:||United States -- Louisiana|
|Source:||DAI-A 79/03(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Therapy, Philosophy, Health sciences|
|Keywords:||Chronic disease, Comorbidity of serious mental illness, Premature mortality|
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