Improving the physical health assessment of people with serious mental illness

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Improving the physical health assessment of people with serious mental illness

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Individuals with severe mental illness (SMI) die on average 20 years younger than the general population. The aim of the review described in this article was to examine relevant literature on the physical health of those with SMI and identify areas for improvement. Four electronic databases were searched and areas identified included side effects of psychotropic medications, obesity, cardiovascular diseases and diabetes, risky sexual behaviour, poor dietary intake and physical inactivity. The authors conclude that physical care of people with SMI can work well when physical health needs are assessed. Additional training is required for mental health nurses in physical health care.

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