Screening CMHC outpatients for physical illness

D. A. Bartsch, D. L. Shern, L. E. Feinberg, B. B. Fuller, A. B. Willett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


To assess the prevalence of physical disorders among outpatients treated in Colorado's public mental health system, a total of 175 patients from two community mental health centers received a comprehensive medical screening that included a standard physical examination and laboratory analyses. Of these patients, 46 percent had physical conditions or laboratory test results warranting further medical evaluation. A previously undiagnosed physical health problem was identified in 20 percent of the screened patients, and about 16 percent had conditions that could cause or exacerbate their mental disorder. The authors conclude that public mental health systems should ensure routine assessment of the physical health of psychiatric outpatients and suggest guidelines for developing medical screening procedures in public settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)786-790
Number of pages5
JournalHospital and Community Psychiatry
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1990
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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