Top tips for mental health teams to improve respiratory outcomes for their clients

Frances Mortimer's picture


Resource Description: 

A ten-point summary of best practice for mental health teams to improve respiratory outcomes for people with mental health problems developed by the London Respiratory Network.     This matters because:

  • In England, 42% of adult tobacco consumption is by those with a mental disorder (McManus et al, 2010). Similar smoking levels by those with mental disorder in the USA results in 45.5% of all smoking related deaths by mental illness and addictions (Williams & Ziedonis, 2004).
  • A UK study found that men with schizophrenia living in the community have a 20.5 year reduced life expectancy and women with schizophrenia have 16.4 year reduced life expectancy - although this study excluded highest risk patients (Brown et al, 2010). Most of this excess mortality is due to increased levels of smoking.
  • People with schizophrenia have 3-fold increased death rate from respiratory disease (Saha et al, 2007).
  • Higher medication doses: Smokers with mental disorders need up to double the dose of some antidepressants, antipsychotics, benzodiazepines and opiates (Taylor et al, 2012).
  • The financial cost of smoking also means people with mental health problems have less money available for other basic needs. Further evidence suggests that smoking is associated with reduced alternative coping strategies (Malpass & Higgs, 2009).

Download from NHS Networks here: 


London Respiratory Network

Publication date: 

June, 2016

Resource type: 

  • information resource


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