Background: People with psychotic disorders fulfilling criteria of a severe and persistent mental illness (SPMI) display a high risk of somatic comorbidity (SC).
Methods: ACCESS II is a prospective, long-term study examining the effectiveness of Integrated Care for people with psychotic disorders fulfilling SPMI criteria. Chronic comorbid somatic disorders were systematically assessed according to ICD-10-GM criteria. Patients treated for ≥4years in ACCESS were categorized as early psychosis (treatment: ≤2years) or non-early psychosis (treatment: >2years) patients.
Results: Of 187 patients treated in ACCESS for ≥4years (mean age=41.8years, males=44.4%), 145 (77.5%) had SC, (mean=2.1±2.1). Overall, 55 different diseases from 15 different ICD-10-GM disease areas were identified. Prevalence of ≥1 SC (p=0.09) and specific types of SC (p=0.08-1.00) did not differ between early and non-early psychosis patients, but non-early psychosis patients had a higher mean number of SC (2.3±2.2 vs. 1.3±1.3, p=0.002). SC patients had higher rates of comorbid mental disorders (93% vs. 81%, p=0.002), specifically posttraumatic stress disorder (23% vs. 7%, p=0.002), and suicide attempts (43% vs. 19%, p<0.001). At the 4-year endpoint, both patients with and without comorbidity displayed major improvements in psychopathology, severity of illness, functioning, quality of life and satisfaction with care.
Conclusions: SC is frequent in patients with severe psychotic disorders, even in the early psychosis phase. The magnitude of the problem underlines the need for regular screening, comprehensive assessment, preventive pharmacotherapy, and targeted SC management.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01888627.
Keywords: Bipolar disorder; Integrated care; Psychosis; Schizophrenia; Somatic comorbidity.
Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.