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Physical healthcare needs of people with serious mental illness

  • Research type

    Research Study

  • Full title

    Meeting the physical healthcare needs of people with serious mental illness in primary care



  • Contact name

    Katharine Bosanquet

  • Contact email

  • Sponsor organisation

    University of York

  • Duration of Study in the UK

    2 years, 6 months, 0 days

  • Research summary

    People with a serious mental illness (SMI) die on average 15-20 years earlier than the general population, largely from the same preventable physical conditions such as heart and lung disease. In the UK, approximately 300,000 people have schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, the main types of serious mental illness. Their increased likelihood of premature death is a major injustice.

    To date there are very few qualitative research studies about the physical health of people with SMI. This means there is a gap in the evidence so we need more information. This research study will explore SMI patients’ and general practice clinicians’ experiences of looking after the physical health of people with serious mental illness. This will improve our understanding about the challenges faced in accessing and providing care.

    This study will consist of carrying out interviews with SMI patients and general practice health professionals (general practitioners and practice nurses) in the Yorkshire and Humber region. Multiple methods will be used to recruit SMI patients given that they are notoriously hard to engage. These will include: invitations posted from GP practices; opportunistic direct referral by GPs, care coordinators and CPNs; invitation packs handed out at SMI service user support groups; and links posted on social media sites to the study's website. Interviews with approximately 15-25 SMI patients will be carried out face-to-face, lasting around 40-60 minutes. Interviews with approximately 8-15 health professionals, either face-to-face or over the telephone, will last about 20-30 minutes.

    The first part of this interview study will last for about 10 months. However a number of participants who agree to be contacted again will take part in a second interview about 12 months after their first one, to explore new questions that arise during data analysis.

  • REC name

    Social Care REC

  • REC reference


  • Date of REC Opinion

    12 Jun 2017

  • REC opinion

    Further Information Favourable Opinion