People with a severe mental disorder have 10–20 years shorter life expectancy than people with no mental illness. One reason is that the people with a severe mental disorder often also have one or more comorbid physical health conditions.
A research group led by Susanne Reventlow of the University of Copenhagen will strive to create the basis to change this.
Through the Phy-Psy Trial in Denmark, the group wants to develop and test an individually tailored and coordinated treatment model with the primary aim of reducing excess mortality by intervening to change the inadequate diagnosis and treatment of comorbid physical health conditions.
The cornerstones for treating each individual will be cooperation, coordination and communication supported by effective information technology solutions. The treatment model is being developed in close collaboration with patients, their families and networks and professionals associated with general practices, municipalities and the hospital services. All the perspectives and experiences of the parties involved will be integrated. The co-design method used will ensure that the efforts can be successfully implemented since healthcare professionals and patients and their relatives will be motivated to tailor the intervention to their potential and needs.
“The project is based on and supports the development of decentralized healthcare services in which general practices treat more people with chronic diseases and complex health problems. The Phy-Psy Trial aims to reduce the excess mortality of these people and to improve their quality of life,” says Susanne Reventlow, Professor, Section of General Practice and Research Director, Research Unit for General Practice, Department of Public Health, University of Copenhagen.
Novo Nordisk Foundation provides DKK 25 million
The Novo Nordisk Foundation is providing a five-year grant of DKK 25 million to start the project. The grant is the first in the Foundation’s new research programme General Practice in a Coherent Healthcare System – Optimal Care Pathways, which aims to create new knowledge on the best way to organize a coherent healthcare system.
Niels-Henrik von Holstein-Rathlou, Head of Research and Innovation Grants, Novo Nordisk Foundation, says: “We hope that this new research programme will contribute positively to developing new forms of collaboration between hospitals, municipalities and general practices that are patient-oriented and will contribute to delivering much of the treatment at home.”
In addition to Susanne Reventlow and her colleagues from the Section of General Practice and the Research Unit for General Practice, Department of Public Health, University of Copenhagen, the research group comprises: Flemming Bro, Research Unit for General Practice, Aarhus University; Jakob Bardram, Department of Applied Mathematics and Computer Science, Technical University of Denmark; Merete Nordentoft, Mental Health Centre Copenhagen and Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Copenhagen; and Pia Kürstein Kjellberg, Research, Evaluation and Innovation Department, Danish Institute for Local and Regional Government Research. In addition, the project has many collaborative partners, including in municipalities and administrative regions in Denmark, and has international participation.
Susanne Reventlow, Professor, Research Unit for General Practice, University of Copenhagen, firstname.lastname@example.org, +45 2023 4033
Christian Mostrup Scheel, Press Officer, email@example.com, +45 3067 4805