Evidence and Practice
Why you should read this article: • To recognise the physical health needs of people with severe mental illness (SMI) • To understand the role that physical health passports could have in meeting the health needs of people with SMI • To learn how a physical health passport was developed and implemented in mental health services People with severe mental illness (SMI) experience significant health inequalities, and their physical health needs are often not addressed. This article describes the development and implementation of a physical health passport, known as My Physical Achievement Log (My PAL), which aims to improve physical health monitoring in people with SMI. The article explains how a literature search and information from official reports were used to identify physical health indicators and to devise a system for recording these. It also describes how feedback was obtained from mental health nurses to improve the My PAL tool and pilot it in mental health services. Further research to evaluate service users’ experiences of using the My PAL tool is being undertaken to enhance its usability.
Why you should read this article: • To reflect on the benefits of using simulation-based learning in pre-registration nursing programmes • To enhance your knowledge of the skills nursing students can develop by acting out simulation scenarios • To consider how pre-registration nursing programmes could be improved to support nursing students’ learning and practice In simulation-based learning, nursing or medical students are exposed to hypothetical scenarios that mimic the realities of clinical practice. This provides them with an opportunity to practise and reflect on clinical skills in a safe environment. This article details a small-scale evaluation that was undertaken to explore two nursing students’ perspectives on clinical simulation. The aim of this evaluation was to identify what these students learned from clinical simulation and the effects it had on their practice. It also aimed to inform the programme’s academic revalidation and therefore improve the university’s offering. Taking part in simulation before undertaking their first clinical placement increased the students’ confidence and it improved their fundamental nursing, communication, psychomotor and reflective skills.
Why you should read this article: • To be aware of the incidence of sexual safety incidents in mental health settings • To recognise the reasons why sexual safety incidents may not be reported • To understand the actions that could be taken to improve sexual safety in your area of practice Concerns have been raised about the sexual safety of people in mental health inpatient settings and it has been identified that the reporting of sexual safety incidents is inconsistent across healthcare services. This article describes the strategy developed by Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust (HTFT) to improve sexual safety for people using mental health services and comply with recommendations from the Care Quality Commission. The strategy was informed by a literature review and several reports into sexual safety. The literature review found that staff are often unsure how to identify and categorise sexual safety incidents, while debriefing and support for those who experience such incidents are often lacking. In addition, not all healthcare services have policies and protocols in place to guide staff who experience sexual safety incidents. Based on the findings of the literature review, along with recommendations from various organisations, HTFT developed a strategy to ensure the delivery of safe and accountable care. This strategy included: a review of trust policies and procedures; staff and service user focus groups; and the development of a staff education programme. The aim is to disseminate this learning across other inpatient services in the trust.
Why you should read this article: • To understand the principles behind the concept of mindfulness • To familiarise yourself with the skills required to become a mindful nurse practitioner • To be aware of how mindfulness can contribute to nurse education Reflection is an important skill for nurses. Building on these reflective skills, mindfulness offers opportunities for personal development by increasing nurses’ awareness of sensory experiences, other people and their environment. Mindfulness is also an important element of self-care. This increased awareness can contribute to the nurse’s ability to make skills-based healthcare decisions and act in the ‘present moment’. The authors argue that these qualities are essential in developing the future nursing workforce, particularly given stressful challenges faced by the profession, for example increased work pressures at times of crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic. This article discusses the evidence for, and benefits of, offering mindfulness programmes during nurse education and for the wider nursing profession.
Why you should read this article: • To understand why men are less frequently diagnosed with depression than women, but are at higher risk of suicide • To recognise the factors that can discourage men from engaging in help-seeking behaviours • To consider strategies that could be used to improve men’s engagement in mental health services and interventions In the UK, more women are being treated for depression than men, yet men are up to three times more likely to die by suicide. It has been suggested that stigma has a role in the lower rate of depression diagnosis in men and may reduce the likelihood of them engaging in help-seeking behaviours. This article discusses a literature review of the available evidence on the help-seeking behaviours of men with depression. The Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, PsycARTICLES, PsycINFO and Medline databases were searched, and a total of 18 articles were included in the review. Following analysis, two themes emerged: social stigma and self-stigma, both of which were found to affect help-seeking behaviours. Therefore, it is important for healthcare professionals to consider the factors that can influence stigma and help-seeking behaviour, and for mental health services to be accessible and appealing to men with depression.
Why you should read this article: • To recognise the co-morbid mental health conditions that patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease commonly experience • To gain knowledge of the potential benefits of including a psychoeducation session as part of pulmonary rehabilitation programmes • To understand the barriers to accessing psychological support, particularly from improving access to psychological therapies services, that patients may encounter Background Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a chronic and life-threatening inflammatory lung disorder that results in progressive symptoms and significant disability. Co-morbid depression and/or anxiety are highly prevalent in people with COPD and are linked with higher mortality and symptom burden. Aim To explore if a psychoeducation session on depression and anxiety is a useful addition to a pulmonary rehabilitation programme. Method In total, 74 psychoeducation sessions, attended by 214 patients with COPD, took place. The sessions involved providing information on the symptoms and potential triggers for depression and anxiety, as well as basic cognitive behavioural therapy strategies on how to cope with these experiences. A total of 163 patients completed session evaluation forms and 12 patients participated in focus group discussions. Thematic analysis was used to analyse the data. Findings The evaluation forms indicated that 95% of respondents found the psychoeducation session useful. Six themes were identified from the focus group data: education on depression and anxiety; normalising; the benefits of being in a group; learning skills to manage symptoms; knowing that support is available; and barriers to accessing the group and making referrals to an improving access to psychological therapies (IAPT) service. Conclusion The addition of a psychoeducation session may be a useful adjunct to pulmonary rehabilitation programmes. Participants reported that they learned about the signs and symptoms of depression and anxiety, and most of them felt more confident in recognising these after the session. However, only a few participants were referred to the IAPT service, potentially because of several barriers to accessing this service.
The STARTER model is a step-by-step tool encouraging conversations about sexual health
Mental health practitioners can support service users to move beyond traumatic events
Part 3 of our series explores the causes of schizophrenia and how it can lead to self-neglect
An exploration of best practice in co-creating recovery-orientated care plans
People with a mental illness are more susceptible to physical ill health
Mental and physical health work together to support well-being, and never more importantly than when a patient experiences a sudden and devastating trauma. This article explores the interplay of mental and physical health in the context of acid attack burns to someone’s face. It explains trauma in event terms and how an understanding of types of psychological trauma can be drawn on to advance collaborative nursing practice in a burns unit. While nurses have been educated in separate disciplines, it is argued that working across the traditional divide can be advantageous in trauma situations. This is the second article in a series on ‘well-being, physical and mental health’.