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Mental Disorders and Appendicitis

surgeryEmerging research suggests people with mental illness suffer more than just psychological problems. In a new study, researchers discover people with schizophrenia are more likely to suffer from a ruptured appendix than others.

Unfortunately, most studies of healthcare provision for patients with mental illness usually focus on psychological problems but often ignore physical disease.

Researchers from Taiwan compared the outcomes of appendicitis sufferers, looking specifically at patients with and without mental illness, including schizophrenia and different major mental illnesses. The study is published in the online open access journal, BMC Public Health.

The team used Taiwanese National Health Insurance (NHI) hospital-discharge data and compared the likelihood of a ruptured appendix among almost 100,000 people aged 15 and over who were hospitalized for acute appendicitis in Taiwan during the period 1997-2001.

Researchers found that a ruptured appendix occurred in 46.7 percent of the schizophrenic patients, in 43.4 percent of the patients with other major mental disorders, and in 25.1 percent of the patients with no major mental diseases. More ruptured cases were found among males and older patients.

After adjusting for age, gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic background, and hospital characteristics, the team found that patients with schizophrenia were still almost three times as likely to suffer a ruptured appendix as the general population. The presence of affective psychoses or other major mental disorders did not, however, remain associated with a significantly increased risk of rupture.

The findings suggest that, even though the NHI program reduces financial barriers to care for people with mentally illness, schizophrenics are still at a disadvantage in obtaining timely treatment for physical problems.

Source: BioMed Central

Mental Disorders and Appendicitis

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. (2015). Mental Disorders and Appendicitis. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 19, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2007/11/15/mental-disorders-and-appendicitis/1540.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 6 Oct 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Oct 2015
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.