Question: For people with serious mental health conditions, how effective is providing general healthcare advice, compared with treatment as usual, in improving physical health factors?


Plain Language Summary

There is not enough research evidence to make definite conclusions on whether general physical healthcare is beneficial to people with mental health conditions. More research is needed to fully understand this area.

Clinical and research implications

No definite clinical implications may be made based on the evidence presented in this BEST summary. The authors of a systematic review stated that 'clinicians should know there is some randomised evidence that the provision of general physical healthcare advice to people with serious mental illness may improve health-related quality of life', but 'there is little evidence that providing physical healthcare advice is an effective way of improving the physical health of people with serious mental illness'. The study authors of more recent studies have suggested, however, that health promotion activities should be used alongside usual treatment in the daily care of individuals with mental disorders. One of the authors also suggested that further research is needed to examine the effectiveness of health promotion interventions in different settings, and that research is also needed to determine effective methods of motivating individuals with mental disorders to participate in such programmes.

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