Study Shows Care Management Helps Mental Health Seekers with Medical Concerns

While the psychological needs of mental health clients may be closely examined and worked upon within clinical settings, medical concerns are not always given equal treatment-–a problematic issue given that many people with mental health issues fail to attain proper medical service when needed. From poor understanding about how to recognize physical issues to complications in finding access to a primary care provider, people may find themselves significantly less healthy despite seeking mental health treatment, and this poor physical health may contribute to a difficult cycle of emotional and medical issues. Hoping to help clients end this cycle and receive quality treatment for any and every issue, a study was recently concluded that tested the efficacy of a care management intervention program for mental health clients.

The study introduced half of participants, all of whom were being treated for mental health concerns and were considered to be in an economically disadvantaged demographic group, to the intervention, which paired them with a professional who provided counsel on seeking medical care and communicated with clients about their concerns. The other half was given a list of contact information for medical health providers, without any additional assistance.

After a period of 12 months, the participants’ health and habits were reviewed. The researchers found that those who had been in the intervention group had significantly higher rates of attaining a primary care physician, and received recommended preventive treatment at a much higher rate than those who had been given a contact information sheet. The study suggests that expanding care in mental health settings to include meaningful discussion and assistance for medical concerns may go a long way toward improving the health and well-being potential of clients.

Reference:

Emory University. (2009, December 21). Care management improves physical health of patients with mental illness. HealthNewsDigest.com. Retrieved from http://www.healthnewsdigest.com/news/Mental_Health_430/Care_Management_Improves_Physical_Health_of_Patients_with_Mental_Illness.shtml

© Copyright 2009 by By Noah Rubinstein, LMFT, LMHC, therapist in Olympia, Washington. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to GoodTherapy.org.

The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. Any views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by GoodTherapy.org. Questions or concerns about the preceding article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below.

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  • Wellescent

    Wellescent

    December 23rd, 2009 at 10:51 AM

    The findings of this study point out something that we should, in part, already know and that is that not all people have the same capacity to maintain their own health without assistance. If for no other reason than that prevention is less expensive than treatment, we should endeavor to provide those who need assistance in accessing care with a partner who can help them in the process.

  • Lisa

    Lisa

    December 23rd, 2009 at 2:44 PM

    I completely agree with the first comment. It’s the old adage: an ounce of prevention….

  • frank anthony

    frank anthony

    December 23rd, 2009 at 4:21 PM

    A person is said to be well only if he is doing fine both physically and mentally. If his physical or mental health, even if one is lacking, then there will be problems. Hence, people who have mental health concerns should be taken care of for their physical health as well. Especially so because there are more chances of such people to have physical health problems than others.

  • Bullard C.

    Bullard C.

    December 23rd, 2009 at 4:36 PM

    When a person is taken ill, for whatever reason, be it physical or mental health concern, he/she should be given holistic care. Treating one area and neglecting another is useless because we need to have each area of us perfect to be healthy and fit. And this should be taken note of by all the health facilities, and there should be coordination between health facilities giving physical and mental health care.

  • C J

    C J

    December 24th, 2009 at 1:56 AM

    People have psychological problems may sometimes be prone to hurting themselves. This should be high on the list of notes of the medical fraternity.

  • Margie

    Margie

    December 24th, 2009 at 7:34 AM

    Perfect idea for various elements of the medical community to work together- so hopeful that all are able to find a way to continue to make that happen.

  • codie

    codie

    December 24th, 2009 at 10:38 AM

    It is very important that there is proper communication and understanding between different departments and specialists when a person is being treated for a particular problem. If there is coordination, it helps in better treatment and a much faster recovery.

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