Abstract: Objective: To estimate 1-year mortality risk associated with preoperative serious mental illness (SMI) as defined by the Veterans Health Administration (schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder [PTSD], major depression) following nonambulatory cardiac or vascular surgical procedures compared to patients without SMI. Cardiac/vascular operations were selected because patients with SMI are known to be at elevated risk of cardiovascular disease.Method: Retrospective analysis of system-wide data from electronic medical records of patients undergoing nonambulatory surgery (inpatient or day-of-surgery admission) October 2005–September 2009 with 1-year follow-up (N=55,864; 99% male;

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In a recently published paper in General Hospital Psychiatry , we described the association between a diagnosis of a serious mental illness and a chronic pain condition. In a national sample of all patients who utilized services from the Veterans Health Administration within a given year, those individuals with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder were significantly more likely to have a chart diagnosis of chronic pain compared to those without these psychiatric diagnoses. We concluded that this line of research has important implications for understanding how chronic pain might impact mental health recovery.

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Abstract: Objective: The purpose of this study was to assess the rates of chronic, noncancer pain conditions in patients with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder within the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) System.Method: This cross-sectional study used administrative data extracted from VHA treatment records of all individuals receiving VHA services in fiscal year 2008 (N=5, 195,551). The associations between severe psychiatric disorders (schizophrenia and bipolar disorder) and chronic pain (arthritis, back pain, chronic pain, migraine, headache, psychogenic and neuropathic) were evaluated using a series of logistic regression analyses.Results: Veterans with schizophrenia [odds ratio (OR)=1.21] and bipolar disorder (OR=2.17) were significantly more likely to have chronic pain overall relative to veterans without these psychiatric conditions.

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