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Review: prescribing rates of drugs for medical conditions are lower in people with mental illness

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Question: Are there differences in prescribing for medical conditions in people with and without mental illnesses?

Outcomes: Prescribing rates. The population without mental illness was the comparator, with prescribing rates in people with mental illness being classified as adequate (≥95% of prescribing levels in people without mental illness), inequitable (≥90% and <95%), suboptimal (≥80% and <90%) and inadequate (<80%).


Design: Systematic review with meta-analysis.

Data sources: MEDLINE/PubMed, EMBASE, SCOPUS, Web of Science and the full text databases from Blackwell-Wiley, SCIENCE DIRECT, Ingenta SELECT and Springer-Verlag's LINK were searched from inception to November 2010 for interventional or observational studies. Selected journals and reference lists of identified studies were hand searched.

Study selection and analysis: Two reviewers appraised studies and selected interventional or observational studies assessing prescriptions for medical conditions in people with and without mental illness. Studies in people with dementia or delirium were excluded. Two reviewers extracted data on prescribed medication rates in people with and without mental illness. Participants with mental illness were classified into: severe mental illness (including schizophrenia), affective …

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  • Sources of funding Not stated.


  • Competing interests None.

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