Basel : Karger
InSartorius, N.; Holt, R.I.G.; Maj, M. (ed.), Comorbidity of mental and physical disorders, pp. 165-177
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Sartorius, N.; Holt, R.I.G.; Maj, M. (ed.), Comorbidity of mental and physical disorders
SubjectExperimental Psychopathology and Treatment
This chapter aims to explore the possibilities of preventing comorbid mental and physical disorders. It presents a framework of optional preventive strategies based on four explanatory models of comorbidity and six strategic dimensions. Addressing common early risk factors is discussed as one of these preventive strategies. Some examples of evidence-based prevention programs are presented that might contribute to prevention of comorbidity, needs for further research are discussed, and recommendations are presented for policy makers and practitioners to improve the perspectives for preventing mental and physical comorbidity. So far, preventing mental disorders and preventing physical disorders have been highly separated fields. It is recommended that both fields should broaden the range of baseline and outcome indicators and include longitudinal designs to understand the long-term broad-spectrum outcomes of preventive interventions better. Future policy plans and practices in physical and mental health should be more focused at preventing comorbidity, and enhance related expertise among policy-makers and practitioners. Finally, it is argued that the preventive approach of comorbidity should be broadened to ‘smart clusters' of highly related mental, physical and social problems, with the last possibly referring to important common risk factors.
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