Management of physical health conditions in adults with severe mental disorders

KOLKATA, Nov 10:
The global burden of disease due to mental disorders continues to rise, especially in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC).
People with severe mental disorders moderate to severe depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders generally have a life-expectancy 10-20 years shorter than the general population.
The majority of these premature deaths are due to physical health conditions. Access to comprehensive health services which offer health promotion, screening and treatment for physical as well as mental health conditions remain out of reach for the majority of people with severe mental disorders.
For those who are able to access health care, the care received is often of poor quality and physical health conditions are often overlooked.
To help address this inequity, WHO has released, for the first time, evidence-based guidelines on management of physical conditions in adults with severe mental disorders.
The new Guidelines include recommendations for treating people with severe mental health disorders who have cardiovascular disease, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and hepatitis B and C, and those with tobacco dependence, who engage in harmful use of alcohol or other substances and/or who are overweight.
Recommendations relate to lifestyle changes such as a healthier diet, increased physical activity and tobacco cessation; psychosocial support; and medicines, taking into account possible interactions between different medicines prescribed for mental and physical health conditions.
The Guidelines are primarily intended for use by health-care workers providing services for people with severe mental disorders at all levels ? in primary health facilities, specialist facilities and hospitals. (PTI)