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Page type: 
Research summaries and systematic reviews
Publication date: 
2018

Title: Integrated care for people with long-term mental and physical health conditions in low-income and middle-income countries

Authors: Prof Sir Graham Thornicroft, Shalini Ahuja, Sarah Barber, Daniel Chisholm, Prof Pamela Y Collins, Sumaiyah Docrat, Prof Lara Fairall, Heidi Lempp, Unaiza Niaz, Vicky Ngo, Prof Vikram Patel, Prof Inge Petersen, Prof Martin Prince, Maya Semrau, Prof Jürgen Unützer, Prof Huang Yueqin, Shuo Zhang

Integrated care is defined as health services that are managed and delivered such that people receive a continuum of health promotion, disease prevention, diagnosis, treatment, disease management, rehabilitation, and palliative care services, coordinated across the different levels and sites of care within and beyond the health sector and, according to their needs, throughout the life course. In this Review, we describe the most relevant concepts and models of integrated care for people with chronic (or recurring) mental illness and comorbid physical health conditions, provide a conceptual overview and a narrative review of the strength of the evidence base for these models in high-income countries and in low-income and middle-income countries, and identify opportunities to test the feasibility and effects of such integrated care models. We discuss the rationale for integrating care for people with mental disorders into chronic care; the models of integrated care; the evidence of the effects of integrating care in high-income countries and in low-income and middle-income countries; the key organisational challenges to implementing integrated chronic care in low-income and middle-income countries; and the practical steps to realising a vision of integrated care in the future.

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