Background: The use of atypical antipsychotics which currently form the primary choice pharmacotherapy for several mental health conditions have been linked to cardiovascular and metabolic side effects. This systematic review aimed to investigate the barriers to monitoring and management of cardiovascular co-morbidities in patients prescribed antipsychotic medicines.
Methods: A protocol-led (CRD-42018106002) systematic literature review was conducted by searching Medline, Embase, and PsycINFO databases 2003 until October 2019. Cochrane, Centre for Review and Dissemination (CRD) and PRISMA guidelines were followed. Studies investigating barriers to monitoring and management of cardiovascular co-morbidities in patients prescribed antipsychotic medicines were included.
Results: A total of 23 records were included. Key barriers included a) health-care system-related factors such as lack of knowledge and expertise amongst care providers, available resources, confusion around remit and roles, fragmentation of care such as across general practitioners and psychiatrists, and time constraints and b) patient-related factors such as disability resulting from mental health conditions, knowledge and skills of the patients.
Conclusion: Barriers to monitoring and management of cardiovascular and metabolic health of patients taking antipsychotic medicines are multidimensional. Apart from educational interventions directed to both patients and health-care professionals, the results suggest a need for the improvement of wider system-related factors to improve physical health of patients prescribed antipsychotic medicines. Clearer guidelines, clarity of remit and roles amongst service providers are necessary in addition to educational interventions directed at patients and health-care professionals in improving physical health monitoring, counselling and management of patients prescribed antipsychotic medicines.
Trial registration: A protocol was developed and registered with PROSPERO as per PRISMA-P guidelines ( CRD 42018106002 ).
Keywords: Antipsychotics; Comorbidity; Drug interactions and side effects; Patient Counselling research; Primary care.