Impact of the mental health reform in Israel on health care and mortality among people with severe mental illness

Gilad Gal, Itzhak Levav, Arad Kodesh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: Reports show disparities in the health care of people with severe mental illness (SMI). Yet, the moderating effect of mental health reforms on the health care disparities remain unexplored. The current study aimed to investigate the outcomes of the mental health reform in Israel on the use of health services among people with SMI. Method: A case–control epidemiological study comparing the use of health services 3.5 years before and after the mental health reform for service users diagnosed with schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, and bipolar disorder. Data on health services included: blood cholesterol test (LDL), hemogalobin-A1C test, and visits to general practitioners (GPs) and specialists. Mortality was recorded. Results: Following the reform the number of visits to GPs was decreased among service users of the three SMI groups, as well as visits to specialists among service users with a schizoaffective or bipolar disorder. Following the reform service users of the three SMI groups showed no-change in the performance of LDL test. Complex findings were noted with regard to the performance of Hemoglobin-A1C test. Mortality rates were higher among service users with SMI and the relative risk were similar before and after the reform. Conclusions: Users of the three SMI groups showed no benefits of the mental health reform in terms of use of health services. Improved health care can be attained by a closer collaboration between the primary physicians and community mental health services.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSocial Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany.

Keywords

  • Health care
  • Mental health reform
  • Severe mental illness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Health(social science)
  • Social Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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