Physical Health and Schizophrenia (Oxford Psychiatry Library)

Physical Health and Schizophrenia (Oxford Psychiatry Library)

David J. Castle, Peter F. Buckley, and Fiona P. Gaughran

Print publication date: Sep 2017

ISBN: 9780198811688

Publisher: Oxford University Press


The association between mental health and physical health forms the core of this book. While it is recognized that serious mental illnesses such as schizophrenia carry a reduced life expectancy, it is often assumed that suicide is the main cause of this disparity. But in actuality, suicide accounts for no more than a third of the early mortality associated with schizophrenia: the vast majority is due to cardiovascular factors. This book seeks to put this stark fact in context, detailing the extent of cardiovascular risk, sharing information regarding reasons for this excess, and outlining approved approaches for screening for and treatment of such risk factors in people with schizophrenia. As such, this book seeks to inform those caring for people with schizophrenia of these parameters and suggests ways in which they may be addressed, using a holistic model which embraces shared decision-making and which is compatible with the recovery framework. It provides guidance regarding monitoring as well as information about focused interventions that can help ameliorate risk. It also addresses those physical health factors apart from cardiovascular, that add to the burden of ill health amongst people with schizophrenia: pulmonary health, bone health, sexual health, and cancer risk are just some of these. In addition, the book provides patient and carer information material that can be used to try to ensure that all involved have a truly informed role in decision-making about their treatment and that both psychiatric and physical health issues are taken seriously.