Role of Primary Care Physicians in management of Schizophrenia in Low and Middle Income Countries (LMIC): A systematic review
Many people with Schizophrenia lack the resources and access to mental health services especially in low and middle income countries. Integration of mental health into primary care services can be a cost effective way of reducing the disability associated with Schizophrenia. Our aim was to review the studies conducted on role of Primary care physicians in management of Schizophrenia in low and middle income countries. PRISMA guidelines were followed and we registered the study protocol at PROSPERO. Four Electronic Databases (Medline, Psycinfo, CINAHL and Embase) were searched in May 2022. Relevant articles after search were 504 of which 61 full text were examined. A total of 20 studies were included in the final review comprising of observational, experimental and qualitative studies.
Most studies reported on abilities of Primary care physicians including their knowledge, perceptions, skills and competencies in identifying and management of Schizophrenia and related Psychosis. Findings suggest that there is considerable amount of stigma, lack of awareness and social support about people diagnosed with Schizophrenia. Significant improvement was observed in diagnosis and management of schizophrenia by Primary care physicians who received appropriate training by experts in the field. This review suggests that appropriate training of General practitioners in diagnosing and treating schizophrenia can help in reduction of huge Treatment Gap in Schizophrenia. They can also be utilised in delivering psycho social interventions to improve overall quality of patient care.
How to cite this: Khan MF, Zia ul-Haq, Mukhtar-ul-Haq M, Afridi A, Farooq S. Role of Primary Care Physicians in management of Schizophrenia in Low and Middle Income Countries (LMIC): A systematic review. Pak J Med Sci. 2023;39(4):1178-1184. doi: https://doi.org/10.12669/pjms.39.4.7286
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