General practitioner management of chronic diseases in adults with severe mental illness: a community intervention trial
CM Cameron, JC Nazar, C Ehrlich, E Kendall, D Crompton, AM Liddy, S Kisley
Objective: The aim of the present study was to assess the effects of a community intervention aimed at general practitioners (GPs) by comparing Medicare claims data from patients with severe mental illness (SMI) of GPs exposed to the intervention and controls that were not.
Methods: A comparison was made of primary care consultation and pathology data of people with SMI from intervention and control areas. Negative binomial regression models were used to compare the frequency and length of GP consultations, as well as the number and type of pathology examinations.
Results: Records of 103 people from intervention area and 98 controls were obtained. Intervention and control areas were not different at baseline in terms of age and claims data, but females had higher consultation rates. After adjusting for gender, people from intervention areas had more GP consultations, especially long consultations (adjusted incidence rate ratio 1.56; 95% confidence interval 1.28–1.91). They also had more pathology screening for chronic diseases, in accordance with implemented guideline recommendations. These benefits persisted after the end of the intervention.
Conclusion: These findings suggest that the ACTIVATE program aimed at training GPs to screen and better manage chronic diseases in adults with SMI had a positive effect up to 6 months after the trial, with demonstrated desired changes in medical management practices by GPs in the intervention area during that time.