Authors: Karen Moeller-Saxone, Graham Meadows
Event: 2000 TheMHS Conference
Subject: book of proceedings, GP Shared Mental Health Care, Smoking, GENERAL PRACTITIONERS,
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: General practitioners have long been an important source of information and support to people who wish to quit smoking. When patients present with respiratory and other illnesses that are caused by smoking, GPs will routinely counsel them about the benefits of smoking cessation and how to go about it. However, patients with mental illnesses have not necessarily had access to this counselling for a range of reasons. Research indicates that people with mental illness are more likely to die from diseases caused by smoking than the general population and may be less likely to receive adequate medical care for physical illnesses if they present to a GP. This could be due to a lack of information about health promotion and mental illness or a lack of confidence in communicating with mentally ill patients. In the development of the SANE Smokefree Kit, anecdotal and theoretical evidence suggested that the support of a health professional is important in the smoking cessation process. GPs were seen to be the best people to offer this support, given the extent to which they bridge the mental and physical health domains. This paper will present the results of a project developed by the Consultation Liaison in Primary Care Psychiatry (CLIPP) program and SANE Australia, to pilot the use of guidelines for GPs to help their patients with schizophrenia reduce or quit smoking.