To evaluate the physical health and health risk factors in long-stay psychiatric patients in a high secure psychiatric hospital. A cross-sectional survey of consenting patients was undertaken using a semi-structured questionnaire, a brief physical examination and review of patient case notes. A comparison was made with data collected on admission and held on the Special Hospitals' Case Register.
Main findings were: a mean increase in weight since admission, in men of 10.62 kg and in women of 12.74 kg; high rates of smoking, obesity and large waist size; 54% of patients had one or more health problems.
The study's profile of the physical health of psychiatric in-patients indicates the need for health promotion initiatives in such hospitals and the need for primary care services.
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