Research Brief: Integrated Care for Older Adults with Serious Mental Illness and Medical Comorbidity: Evidence-Based Models and Future Research Directions

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.


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