Upskilling Mental Health Nurses to Address the Burden of Poor Metabolic Health: A Mixed Method Evaluation.

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Issues in mental health nursing, 2020, 41, (10), pp. 925-931
Issue Date:
Full metadata record
People living with a severe mental illness experience a life expectancy gap compared to the rest of the population that is largely driven by preventable cardiovascular diseases stemming from lifestyle factors, and the side effects of psychotropic medications. Mental health nurses are well positioned to help address the gap using lifestyle interventions. However, many nurses don't prioritise delivering such care, or lack the skills and confidence to implement these strategies. This study used a mixed method approach to determine the effectiveness of 2-day metabolic workshops that aimed to provide nurses with the skills to provide lifestyle interventions. The quantitative component compares pre and post measures of attitudes, confidence, knowledge and perceived barriers of providing metabolic care using a validated tool (M-BACK) and the qualitative component to elicit more details of the needs, expectations and plans of participants. Fifty-six nurse participants demonstrated statistically significant improvements in M-BACK post scores (p < 0.001), with 53 of the 56 participants (95%) achieving improved M-BACK scores. Participants identified three primary barriers to delivering metabolic care, related to individual staff members, consumers, and system issues. Prior to the course participants stated they hoped to improve their knowledge, enhance their practical skills and provide education for others. Following completion of the course participants planned to implement lifestyle education and interventions for consumers, provide education and support to other staff and integrate metabolic health care into clinical reviews and planning. This study demonstrates that education on metabolic health care can be effective in improving the attitudes, confidence, and knowledge of mental health nursing in providing metabolic health care and a decrease in the perceived barriers to delivering that care.
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: