Physical health care monitoring for people with serious mental illness
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Background Current guidance suggests that we should monitor the physical health of people with serious mental illness and there has been a significant financial investment over recent years to provide this. Objectives To assess the effectiveness of physical health monitoring as a means of reducing morbidity, mortality and reduction in quality of life in people with serious mental illness. Search strategy We searched the Cochrane Schizophrenia Group Trials Register (October 2009) which is based on regular searches of CINAHL, EMBASE, MEDLINE and PsycINFO. Selection criteria All randomised or quasi-randomised clinical trials focusing on physical health monitoring versus standard care or comparing i) self monitoring vs monitoring by health care professional; ii) simple vs complex monitoring; iii) specific vs non-specific checks iv) once only vs regular checks or v) comparison of different guidance. Data collection and analysis The authors (GT, AC, SM) independently screened search results and identified three studies as possibly fulfilling the review's criteria. On examination, however, all three were subsequently excluded. Main results We did not identify any randomised trials which assessed the effectiveness of physical health monitoring in people with serious mental illness. Authors' conclusions There is no evidence from randomised trials to support current guidance and practice. Guidance and practice are based on expert consensus, clinical experience and good intentions rather than high quality evidence.