Practical recommendations for improvement of the physical health care of patients with severe mental illness

F. M. van Hasselt, M. J. T. Oud, A. J. M. Loonen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


ObjectiveHealth care for the physical health of patients with severe mental illness (SMI) needs to be improved. Therefore, we aimed to develop policy recommendations to improve this physical health care in the Netherlands based on consensus (general agreement) between the major stakeholders.

MethodA modified Delphi was used to explore barriers and subsequently establish policy recommendations with all key stakeholders. Consensus was sought between patients with SMI, their family carers, general practitioners, and mental healthcare professionals - all experts in the everyday practice of health care.

ResultsConsensus was reached on policy recommendations regarding (i) improvements in collaboration between healthcare professionals, (ii) the need for professional education on the specific medical risks of patients with SMI, and (iii) the distinguished responsibilities of general practitioners on the one hand and mental healthcare professionals on the other hand in taking care of patients' physical health.

ConclusionThis article provides a range of policy recommendations that could lead to considerable improvements in the physical health of SMI patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)387-396
Number of pages10
JournalActa Psychiatrica Scandinavica
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May-2015


  • Community mental health services
  • general practice
  • health promotion
  • patient participation
  • qualitative research

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