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People with serious mental illness (SMI) have poor health outcomes, in part because of inequitable access to quality health services. As a consequence, they have more preventable hospitalizations and higher mortality rates. 


Primary care is well suited to coordinate and manage care for this population; however, providers may feel ill-equipped to do so and patients may not have the support and resources required to coordinate their care. We lack a strong understanding of prevention and management of chronic disease in primary care among people with SMI as well as the context-specific barriers that exist at the patient, provider, and system levels.


This concurrent mixed methods study is being conducted in British Columbia and Ontario, and involves quantitative analyses of linked administrative data and in-depth qualitative interviews with people living with SMI and primary care providers. 


The study has three research questions: 

1) How do primary care services received by people living with SMI differ from those received by the general population? 

2) What are the experiences of people with SMI in accessing and receiving chronic disease prevention and management in primary care? 

3) What are the experiences of primary care providers in caring for individuals with SMI? 


The results will shed light on individual and system-level factors that facilitate or impede quality preventive and chronic disease care for people with SMI in the primary care setting.

Team Members

Nominated Principal Investigator: Agnes Grudniewicz

Co-Principal Investigators: Ruth Lavergne,  Allie Peckham, David Rudoler

Co-Investigators and Collaborators: Anne O’Riordan, Berna Akcakir, Brenda Jagroop, Christian G. Schütz, Ellen Randall, Helen Thai, Jennifer Rayner, Kevin Patrick, Kimberly Corace, Lucie Langford, Mark Kaluzienski, Nadiya Sunderji, Paul Kurdyak, Rachelle Ashcroft, Ridhwana Kaoser, Rita K. McCracken, Sandra Peterson, W. Craig Norris

Papers & Preprints

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