People with Severe Mental Illness (SMI) die on average 10-20 years earlier than the general population. Around 80% of deaths in people with SMI are due to preventable physical illnesses, most commonly cardio-metabolic diseases, respiratory disorders, and infectious diseases.
In this study we aim to determine the prevalence and distribution of physical disorders and lifestyle health risk behaviours in people with SMI in South Asia. We also want to compare our findings with those from the general population. In addition, we aim to determine the association between physical disorders, health risk behaviours, health related quality of life and various demographic, behavioural, cognitive, psychological and social variables.
We are conducting a cross-sectional survey among clinically diagnosed SMI patients recruited at specialist mental health institutions in Bangladesh, India and Pakistan. In Bangladesh, the survey is taking place at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), Dhaka; in India, at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS), Bangalore; and in Pakistan, at the Institute of Psychiatry (IoP), Rawalpindi. All three are national institutes offering tertiary care specialist mental health services.
The study will help us understand access to physical healthcare for people with SMI, and what support to address health risk behaviours is offered to this population.
This study was adapted as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic to explore the impact of the pandemic and the related response (e.g. health promotion messaging, lockdown and social distancing), on mental illness, well-being, health risk behaviours, socioeconomic parameters, quality of life and use of healthcare for people with SMI. These are being compared with people who don’t have SMI.
The protocol for the study is below, if you would like further information please contact us.