Is It Important that Health Promotion be a Focus that Permeates the Entire Organisation of Mental Health Care?

Research Paper Title

Mental health nurses’ experience of physical health care and health promotion initiatives for people with severe mental illness.

Background

Health care for people with severe mental illness is often divided into physical health care and mental health care despite the importance of a holistic approach to caring for the whole person.

Mental health nurses have an important role not only in preventing ill health, but also in promoting health, to improve the overall health among people with severe mental illness and to develop a more person-centred, integrated physical and mental health care.

Thus, the aim of this study was to describe mental health nurses’ experiences of facilitating aspects that promote physical health and support a healthy lifestyle for people with severe mental illness.

Methods

Interviews were conducted with mental health nurses (n = 15), and a qualitative content analysis was used to capture the nurse’s experiences.

Results

Analysis of the interviews generated three categories:

  • To have a health promotion focus in every encounter;
  • To support with each person’s unique prerequisites in mind; and
  • To take responsibility for health promotion in every level of the organisation.

Conclusions

The results show the importance of a health promotion focus that permeates the entire organisation of mental health care.

Shared responsibility for health and health promotion activities should exist at all levels:

  • In the person-centred care in the relation with the patient;
  • Embedded in a joint vision within the working unit; and
  • In decisions at management level.

Reference

Lundstrom, S., Jormfeldt, H., Ahlstrom, B.H. & Skarsater, I. (2020) Mental health nurses’ experience of physical health care and health promotion initiatives for people with severe mental illness. International Journal of Mental Health Nursing. 29(2), pp.244-253. doi: 10.1111/inm.12669. Epub 2019 Oct 29.

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