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Integrating General Health Care in Private Community Psychiatry Practice

J Clin Psychiatry 2007;68(7):e19

Patients with chronic mental illness have multiple health care needs. These patients, particularly those with schizophrenia, have higher incidences of heart disease and metabolic syndrome than the general population and show increased risks of infectious disease, pulmonary disease, and substance abuse. In order to effectively monitor and treat these patients, psychiatric and general health care should be integrated as much as possible. This presentation describes the role of the psychiatrist in helping to maintain the physical health of his or her patients, including monitoring for weight gain and other cardiac risk factors that may be increased by psychotropic medications, and explains the importance of communication between psychiatrists and primary care physicians.

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