Healthcare Practitioners’ Views of their Role in Addressing the Medical Comorbidites of People with Mental Illness

Author(s): Monica Zolezzi, Sara Abdulrhim, Nour Isleem, Farah Zahrah, Yassin Eltorki

Objectives: To explore the views and experiences of different healthcare professionals in Qatar about their role addressing the medical comorbidities of people with serious mental illness (SMI).

Subjects and Methods: Qualitative study using a purposive sampling strategy to include representative viewpoints from physicians, pharmacists, and nurses working at outpatient settings throughout Doha, Qatar. Semi-structured interviews were conducted, and transcripts analyzed employing qualitative phenomenological approach to inquiry.

Results: A total of eighteen interviews to healthcare practitioners (HCPs) were conducted. Four major common themes emerged from these interviews, including: 1) knowledge and awareness about the medical comorbidities among people with serious mental illness (SMI); 2) perceptions of current practice in relation to addressing the medical comorbidities of people with SMI; 3) perceived barriers to the provision of medical care to people with SMI; 4) possible solutions to address the barriers identified.

Conclusion: Results of this study suggest that HCPs perceive that people with SMI in Qatar receive suboptimal standard levels of care for their medical comorbidities. The integration of medical and mental healthcare services and fostering shared responsibility that includes family members were strongly recommended to improve the physical health of people with SMI.

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