Objectives: Individuals with schizophrenia have more cardiometabolic comorbidities than the general population, live about twenty years less and consume more medical services. They are treated at general practitioners' clinics (GPCs) or at mental health clinics (MHCs). In this cohort study we investigated the association between patients' main treatment setting, cardiometabolic comorbidities and medical services utilization. Methods: Demographics, healthcare services utilization, cardiometabolic comorbidities and medication prescriptions of patients with schizophrenia were retrieved from an electronic database for the period 1.1.2011 to 31.12.2012 and compared between patients treated mostly in MHCs (N = 260) and those treated mostly in GPCs (N = 115). Results: GPC patients tended to be older (mean age 39.8 ± 13.7 vs. 34.6 ± 12.3 yrs., p < 0.0001), of lower socioeconomic status (42.6% vs 24.6%, p = 0.001) and have more cardiometabolic diagnoses (hypertension: 19.1% vs 10.8%, diabetes mellitus: 25.2% vs 17.0%, p < 0.05) than MHC patients. The former received more cardiometabolic disorder medications and utilized more secondary and tertiary medical services. Charlson Comorbidity Index (CCI) was higher in the GPC group than in the MHC group (1.8 ± 1.9 vs.1.2 ± 1. 6, p < 0.0001). A multivariate binary logistic regression analysis, adjusted for age, sex, SES and CCI found lower adjusted odds ratio for the MHC group versus the GPC group, of visiting an EMD, a specialist or to be hospitalized. Conclusions: The current study highlights the critical importance of integrating GPCs and MHCs, thus offering patients combined physical and mental care at a single location. More studies on the potential benefits of such integration to patients' health are warranted.
- Cardiometabolic comorbidities
- Healthcare utilization
- Treatment continuity
- Treatment integration
- Treatment setting