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People who have a dual diagnosis of mental illness and co-morbid substance use face a challenge in maintaining their physical health as the effects of substance use compound the physical health issues associated with severe mental illness. So physical conditions in patients with dual diagnosis are one of the most important challenges in treatment of these patients.
Objectives and Aims
This cross sectional analytical-descriptive study aimed to evaluate the physical status of psychiatric patients with the history of substance abuse.
263 psychiatric patients which referred to Razi Psychiatric Center of Tehran Iran in 2012-2013 were examined for physical health condition. This examination performed using physical examination, lab tests and Para clinical tests.
findings showed more than half of psychiatric patients had substance abuse (57.41%). Male patients significantly abused more alcohol and narcotics than females (p<0.001%). The prevalence of physical problems in psychiatric patients with substance abuse was 53%, while this rate (35.7%) was statistically significant in other patients (p<0.005%). Results showed that prevalence of hemolytic and metabolic disease as well as renal and urethral disease is most frequent in these patients. However, there was no significant difference among prevalence of these diseases in psychiatric patients with substance abuse and those without history of substance abuse.
Regarding to the high prevalence of physical problems in psychiatric patients with substance abuse, it seems that the physical condition of them should be noticed as one of the priorities in clinical programs for this vulnerable group.
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