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This course is designed to update the practical knowledge of psychiatric practitioners, allowing them to feel more confident in the identification and management of physical health conditions in people with serious mental illness.
Patients with serious mental illness die 15-20 years earlier than members of the general population, and up to 60% of that excess mortality is secondary to physical health conditions. The reasons for this are multifactorial, and include lifestyle factors, the physical side effects of psychiatric medication, poor engagement with medical services, and reduced likelihood of obtaining gold-standard quality of care from medical professionals when presenting with a physical complaint compared with other members of the general population.
This course is designed to address these factors, specifically aiming to improve the delegate’s confidence and knowledge in identifying physical complaints in this patient group, knowing when to worry, when to call for help, who to call, and with what information. The following conditions will be covered: cardiovascular disease; metabolic disease including diabetes mellitus; respiratory disease including COPD and Covid-19; kidney disease; liver disease; and common physical side effects of psychiatric medications such as clozapine and lithium.
The teaching format will combine a series of case studies of patients previously treated by the course organisers, combined with group discussion and short lectures. Course material will be provided that will complement each session.
Key learning objectives:
- Describe the link between serious mental illness and major physical comorbidities
- Assess common physical health conditions in patients with chronic mental illness and recommend evidence-based management
- Determine when to refer for specialist medical input and identify appropriate referral pathways
- Safely and effectively manage physical side effects of psychiatric medications, including clozapine and lithium