Friday, May 31, 2013

Why Are People With Schizophrenia Receiving Worse Health Care?

That is the title of this article.  Last week I did an article about health and came across this article and thought it would fit together. ”Physicians, health thyself.  May24th is Schizophrenia Awareness Day in Canada—and the month of May is Mental Health month—but a disturbing study just presented at the American Psychiatric Association (APA) meeting in San Francisco demonstrates just how prejudiced many health providers are towards those with serious mental illnesses.”  People with mental illness die earlier than the rest of the population and receive inadequate health care to because of the prejudice.
The article goes on to say it is not stigma: “We use the word stigma, but I would use a different word—prejudice,’ he said at a press conference. In our society, we don’t allow prejudice anymore based on a variety of factors, but we still, to whatever degree, tolerate prejudice when it comes to people with psychiatric conditions, and that has to change.   Dr Borenstein was referring to the results of a study presented at the APA by Dr. Dinesh Mittal, a psychiatrist at the Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System and associate professor at the University of Arkansas, in Little Rock, and his colleagues.” If professionals cannot act professional and treat all like they deserve to be treated in the right way.
What they did was make up a fictional person up with schizophrenia and without schizophrenia and with problems of hypertension, obesity, insomnia, and chronic back pain and had him return for a follow up visit seeking stronger medication for pain. “Overall, the health care professionals anticipated less adherence to medications in those with schizophrenia even though adherence rates between those with and without mental illness are similar.  Those with schizophrenia were less likely to be referred to weight management programs than those without. The researchers pointed out that weight management programs are as successful with those with schizophrenia as those without. Again, those with schizophrenia were less likely to be referred to sleep clinics but pain clinic referrals were equal.”  As I have said in earlier posts it is hard to lose weight but it can be done.  I am going slowly on losing mine.  Although sometimes of the year I lose and others I do not and do not know why.
Why is this so wrong?  The article says: “Those with schizophrenia were seen by the health professionals to have lower social functioning and lower competence to make treatment and financial decisions.  The researchers expected that the mental health professionals would do better than the primary care workers but that was not the case.  Both the psychiatrists and the primary care nurses had the lowest expectation that the schizophrenia patient would be able to understand educational material.” It is wrong we cannot all be lucky to know what to do when things are not going right such as our health.  I can understand that not all with a mental illness will have the knowledge or know where to get the knowledge to figure what to do when something goes wrong with our bodies.  Or for that matter the money to buy the books to figure what disease you have and what to do about it.
“Dr. Borenstein stated: On average, people with severe psychiatric illnesses such as schizophrenia end up dying at a significantly earlier age than other people due to medical problems. So it’s very important—and that’s why this study is an important study—that we make sure that people with psychiatric conditions like schizophrenia receive the best possible medical care along with their psychiatric treatment.”  Those doctors and such should treat everyone equal and help all that come to them to have the finest of care.  I as I have said I work on my health because I want to be around to be there for my youngest grandson who is only four years old right now.  I have had a doctor tell me I do not know what you are doing but keep on doing it.

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