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.
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.
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