By Kamal Hussain
Teams of both mental and healthcare professionals can solve healthcare issues in a better way rather than having all dependency only on physical healthcare professionals.Our current healthcare system is mostly dependent upon Physical healthcare professionals and our healthcare facilities function likewise. Though I am not a healthcare professional but what i feel is that mental and physical healthcare should be better integrated. We have a lot of barriers in our current health care system where mental health patients storm physical health care facilities. It’s a taboo to give someone realisation that they suffer from mental health issues, only extreme mental health cases are referred as mental health issues. Without having realisation about mental health care we can suffer from physical health issues in a greater way. i-e In people with diabetes, untreated mental health problems are associated with poorer blood sugar control, more diabetes complications and even premature mortality. People with co-morbid mental health problems have greater difficulty with diabetes self-management, including diet and adherence to medication. They are also likely to have more hospital admissions, as well as more outpatient and GP appointments for physical issues. Providing integrated mental healthcare to people with diabetes has been found to improve disease outcomes such as glycaemic control, as well as patient satisfaction with care. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD) Mental health problems impact the severity of symptoms people with COPD experience. Anxiety is associated with increased breathlessness and has a greater impact on patients’ quality of life than their lung function. People with COPD and a mental health problem have 50% more acute exacerbations per year, according to one study, and are more likely to be admitted to hospital. Patients who have depression as well as COPD are also less likely to take their medication as advised. Psychological therapy and interventions to promote physical activity have been shown to reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety in people with COPD. Cardiovascular disease Health outcomes are poorer for patients with cardiovascular disease who also have a mental health problem. Depression has been linked with increased risk of cardiovascular events as well as higher mortality rates after heart attack. One study showed that this might be due to lifestyle factors, such as lower levels of physical activity among people with depression. Depression is also associated with non-compliance with medical treatment and poor adherence to programmes like cardiac rehab, which support patients in getting active again after a heart attack or surgery. Depression has a greater impact on patients’ quality of life than the severity of their cardiac disease and is associated with higher rates of hospitalisation. Research has shown that providing integrated mental healthcare for patients with depression and cardiovascular disease improves control of their disease (eg lowers blood pressure), as well as their depression. Rheumatoid Arthritis In people who have rheumatoid arthritis, depressive symptoms are associated with poorer disease outcomes and increased disability. People who experience depression when they have rheumatoid arthritis also report higher levels of pain and fatigue and use healthcare services more frequently. Integrated mental healthcare for people with depression and arthritis has been shown to reduce pain and improve functioning and quality of life.
The contributor is a Software Engineer, CEO of IbridaLogica, and a ‘Perennial Tech Student’ based in Islamabad,Pakistan