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Research Brief: Integrated Care for Older Adults with Serious Mental Illness and Medical Comorbidity: Evidence-Based Models and Future Research Directions
Collaborating TTC: Northwest MHTTC
May 29, 2019

Prepared by Lydia Chwastiak, MD, MPH

Older adults with serious mental illnesses (SMI), such as schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, and bipolar disorder, have more hospitalizations and 4 times greater risk of death at any given age than those without SMI. They are also 3.5 times more likely to live in a nursing home. Despite higher acute and long-term healthcare costs, adults with SMI experience greater barriers to preventive and routine health care, and often receive care that is fragmented and inadequate. These disparities highlight a need for effective and sustainable integrated care models designed specifically to support the special health care needs among older adults with SMI.

This research brief provides a summary of evidence-based integrated models of care that address the mental and physical health needs of adults with SMI.