The chances of a patient with a serious mental illness ending up in hospital because of their condition are reduced by almost 40 per cent if they have a care plan, according to the research.
The study, which tracked 20,000 patients with a severe mental illness through the healthcare system, also found that seeing the same GP reduced the risk of an unplanned hospital admission by around 25 per cent.
The findings demonstrate the importance of continuity of care at the GP's for improving health outcomes for patients with a severe mental illness, the authors of the study say.
Objective: To investigate whether continuity of care in family practice reduces un-planned hospital use for people with serious mental illness (SMI).Data Sources: Linked administrative data on family practice and hospital utilization by people with SMI in England, 2007-2014.
Study Design: This observational cohort study used discrete-time survival analy-sis to investigate the relationship between continuity of care in family practice and unplanned hospital use: emergency department (ED) presentations, and unplanned admissions for SMI and ambulatory care-sensitive conditions (ACSC). The analysis distinguishes between relational continuity and management/ informational continu-ity (as captured by care plans) and accounts for unobserved confounding by examin-ing deviation from long-term averages.Data Collection/Extraction Methods: Individual-level family practice administrative data linked to hospital administrative data.
Principal Findings: Higher relational continuity was associated with 8-11 percent lower risk of ED presentation and 23-27 percent lower risk of ACSC admissions. Care plans were associated with 29 percent lower risk of ED presentation, 39 percent lower risk of SMI admissions, and 32 percent lower risk of ACSC admissions.
Conclusions: Family practice continuity of care can reduce unplanned hospital use for physical and mental health of people with SMI.
- Care plans reduce risk of ending up in hospital for patients with severe mental illness- University of York news release, Nov. 4, 2019
- Impact of family practice continuity of care on unplanned hospital use for people with serious mental illness - Health services research, Vol. 54, 19.11.2019, p. 1316-1325.