Physical health screening for patients with severe mental illness
Evidence & Practice    

Physical health screening for patients with severe mental illness

Tonsha Emerson Doctor of nursing practice student, University of South Alabama
Kimberly Williams At the time of writing was course coordinator, University of South Alabama
Maxie Gordon Assistant professor of psychiatry, The University of Mississippi Medical Center

People with severe mental illness (SMI) are at risk of chronic physical health conditions. However, physical health screening for this patient cohort is rarely conducted at primary or mental healthcare facilities because of gaps in health care and the stigma of mental illness. This article describes a quality improvement project, conducted at an integrated healthcare primary and mental healthcare facility in the United States. The facility provides quality primary and mental healthcare services, but physical health screening for patients with SMI was needed to identify their risk of developing health problems, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes. The specific aims of the project were to identify potential physical health problems, use evidence-based recommendations to address the risks, and improve patient outcomes.

Mental Health Practice. doi: 10.7748/mhp.2016.e1095


Peer review

This article has been subject to double-blind review and has been checked for plagiarism using automated software

Received: 03 July 2015

Accepted: 16 February 2016

Published online: 25 July 2016