Practice question

Severe mental illness: why is physical health monitoring so vital?

Physical health monitoring and holistic care help nurses identify key risk factors, such as unhealthy diet and smoking, in people with severe mental illness

Physical health monitoring and holistic care help nurses identify key risk factors, such as unhealthy diet and smoking, in people with severe mental illness

There are several reasons why physical health monitoring is important in people with severe mental illness (SMI). This article focuses on two: improving physical health outcomes and extending the scope of mental health nursing practice.

How to improve physical health outcomes

Mental health service users are more likely to have worse physical health outcomes than the general population. This manifests in two ways:

  • Increased and early mortality.
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