Semester of Graduation

Spring 2018


Master of Social Work (MSW)


School of Social Work

Document Type



Individuals with serious mental illness (SMI) are disproportionately impacted by preventable physical health conditions, which put them at risk for premature mortality. Integrated primary and behavioral health care (PBHC) programs have demonstrated promise in treating comorbid physical and mental health conditions, common to individuals diagnosed with SMI. The current study focused on individuals with thought disorders (i.e., schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, and brief psychotic disorder), as those diagnosed are more likely to be retained in care. Treatment retention is especially important, as adherence slows down the progression of psychiatric symptoms and physical health diseases. Extant research has focused on evaluation of the efficacy of PBHC programs. This exploratory secondary analysis contributes to the growing knowledge base of research on integrated PBHC programs and the clients who receive these services by examining relevant correlates (i.e., sociodemographic, health, health-risk, and treatment-related characteristics) of health and psychosocial improvements among 311 individuals with thought disorders receiving co-located services in 3 community mental health (CMH) settings. Variables significantly associated with improvements in health and psychosocial characteristics included employment status, disability status, living situation, access to reliable transportation, and clinic site, suggesting that social determinants are relevant for this population. Directions for future research and implications for social work practice and education are discussed.



Committee Chair

Lemieux, Catherine



Included in

Social Work Commons