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Physical Health Care of Schizophrenic Patients in Germany: Who Cares?

Purpose: The aim of this study was to investigate whether patients with schizophrenia in Germany differ in the number and frequency of medical screenings in primary care compared to healthy controls and whether such screenings are provided to schizophrenic patients by general practitioners (GPs) or psychiatrists. Methods: In a self-report and questionnaire-based cohort study we quantified the screenings for cardiovascular risks and somatic comorbidity. We examined 81 patients with an ICD- 10 F2 diagnosis (n=56 inpatients and n=25 outpatients) and 67 controls. Results: GPs were the initiators of significantly more screening assessments in the control group compared to the patients´ cohort. Controls were more often asked about their smoking habits and they significantly more often consulted medical specialists other than a GP or a psychiatrist. On the other hand, schizophrenic patients had undergone EEG or brain imaging procedures significantly more often than controls. Vaccination against tetanus appeared to be neglected in patients with schizophrenia. Conclusion: Adjustments in the German health care system are necessary to address the issues of medical screening in patients with schizophrenia and related disorders, thus bridging the gap between mental and physical health.


Hummel J, Paslakis G, Bauer M, Lederbogen F, Krumm B, Kahl K and Deuschle M

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