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Health Services Research & Development

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Spotlight on Evidence Synthesis Program

Disparities in Healthcare Quality Indicators among Adults with Mental Illness: A systematic review


by Jennifer Gierisch, PhD, MPH ; Uchenna Uchendu, MD
Seminar date: 4/27/2015

Description: The burden of mental illness among Veterans is substantial, and medical illnesses such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease affect a disproportionate number of people with mental illness. Effects of mental illness on the individual’s capacity to maintain health, adverse effects of medications used to treat mental illness, and lower quality of medical care have been implicated as contributors to disparities in health and healthcare between people with and without mental illness. In order to guide future research and policy decisions for the VA, the VA Office of Heath Equity partnered with the Evidence-based Synthesis Program (ESP) to conduct a systematic review of health disparities in quality indicators of healthcare among adults with mental illness. We evaluated comparative studies that assessed a broad range of preventive care and chronic disease management quality indicators to assess if, and to what extent, disparities in healthcare exist for individuals with mental illness. We highlight areas in which studies conducted within the VA differ to those conducted outside the VA healthcare system. Intended Audience: New and established researchers in the field of health services research, grant reviewers, clinical leaders, policymakers, and other stakeholders for elimination of Veteran health care disparities.

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