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Physician Mental Health Prejudice

A new United Kingdom study suggests people who are ill and have psychiatric disorders are not treated as effectively by doctors compared to those who have no mental health problems.

The report by Alex Mitchell M.D., a consultant psychiatrist, and Darren Malone, M.D. a specialist registrar in psychiatry, reviewed a number of studies focusing on preventative and physical care of patients with and without mental illness.

They looked at screening for cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, osteoporosis, HIV and cervical and breast cancer and treatment for diabetes, cardiovascular disease, HIV and cancer care.

Unveiling their findings to the annual meeting, they found that of the 14 studies which looked at health screening, 12 suggested inferior quality of care. Of the 23 studies comparing care for patients with and without mental illness 14 suggested poor quality of care when it came to recommending drug treatment, diagnostic and investigative procedures and surgical interventions.

Said Dr Mitchell: “People who are mentally ill sometimes don’t seek screening, but the more powerful reason is that once the medical team knows a patient has psychiatric problem, they give them poorer quality of care.

“Doctors don’t like dealing with patients with psychiatric problems. They view them as different and they spend les time with them. They don’t offer the patient the same intensity of investigation as the non mentally-ill patient. It’s prejudicial treatment.”

Source: The Royal College Of Psychiatrists Annual Meeting

Physician Mental Health Prejudice

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2018). Physician Mental Health Prejudice. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 27, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Aug 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Aug 2018
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