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Essentials of Physical Health in Psychiatry

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Essentials of Physical Health in Psychiatry by Cormac, Irene; Gray, David, 9781908020406
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  • ISBN: 9781908020406 | 1908020407
  • Cover: Paperback
  • Copyright: 11/12/2012
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People with long-term mental health problems are not immune to physical illness, in fact, it has been proven that people with a mental disorder or learning disability have an increased chance of getting physically ill. For example: certain psychotropic medication has a side effect of weight gain, which can lead to obesity and diabetes; exposure to high dose anti-psychotic medication can lead to Cardiac dysrhythmia; there is an increased prevalence of addiction to drugs or alcohol. Traditionally, those dealing with psychiatric illness have focussed exclusively on the mental condition being presented, sometimes at the expense of the patient's physical health; a psychiatrist's knowledge may be out of date, or they can be too quick to pass care of a physical health problem on to colleagues in other specialties, alternatively some patients may not have easy access to a primary care service so it will fall upon the psychiatrist, psychiatric nurse or member of the mental health team to provide basic physical health care. Indeed, mental health professionals are ideally placed to monitor and maintain the physical health of their patients. It is imperative that psychiatrists are able to interpret basic medical investigations and can recognise where and, when to get help from a general practitioner or another specialist. 'Essentials of Physical Health in Psychiatry' gives basic information and practical advice about common physical conditions; it refreshes and updates a psychiatrist's knowledge, and confidence, in managing those physical conditions. The book: includes recommendations on regular medical review and disease screening; gives confidence to deal with common medical emergencies; has advice on when to refer to medical specialist colleagues; focuses on the physical health risks especially associated with mental disorders and treatment; and deals with the undesirable effects of psychotropic and non-psychiatric medication. Examples of some of the many practical aspects of physical healthcare on which advice is given are: how to assess cardiovascular risk; how to differentiate a faint from a seizure; when to request an X-ray of a patient's swollen, painful ankle; what information should be included in a referral to a dietician; and what physical health problems are common in patients with an addiction. The book is written with psychiatrists in mind, but will also useful for psychiatric nurses and the whole mental health team. It is printed in colour throughout and includes many illustrations.

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