No evidence for benefit of physical healthcare monitoring for people with serious mental illness

Clinical question: 
How effective is physical healthcare monitoring as a means of reducing morbidity and mortality, and maintaining quality of life in people with serious mental illnesses (such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder)?
Bottom line: 
Despite the amount of guidance available, no relevant studies were found. Consequently, there is no evidence from randomised controlled trials that physical health monitoring in people with severe mental illness is useful in preventing deterioration in physical health and maintaining quality of life.
Guidance and practice are based on expert consensus, clinical experience and good intentions rather than high-quality evidence. It is possible clinicians are expending much effort, time and financial expenditure on monitoring the physical health of people with serious mental illness, which is unnecessary, intrusive and costly.
In recent years, there has been an increasing focus on the physical health of people who suffer from mental illness; it has been recognised these individuals are at greater risk of physical health problems for a variety of reasons. There are now a number of different guidelines advising how practitioners should monitor physical health in this population.
Review CD#: 
June, 2010
Authored by: 
Brian R McAvoy