Examining the preventive health-screening activities of mental health nurses
Intended for healthcare professionals
Evidence and practice    

Examining the preventive health-screening activities of mental health nurses

Michael Nash Assistant professor, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland

Why you should read this article:
  • To understand that screening is crucial for the early detection of a range of physical conditions and risk factors

  • To increase your awareness of the benefits of screening people with severe mental illness for physical conditions

  • To identify how you can contribute to the early diagnosis of physical conditions in people with severe mental illness

Background Preventive health screening is crucial for the early identification and treatment of physical conditions in people with severe mental illness. There is little research on health screening by mental health nurses.

Aim To examine the preventive health-screening activities of mental health nurses in Ireland.

Method A descriptive cross-sectional design was used. An online survey examining preventive health-screening activities was distributed to a convenience sample of qualified mental health nurses.

Results A total of 251 respondents completed the survey. Around 70% (n=176) were involved in preventive health-screening activities. The clinical areas in which respondents most undertook screening activities were cardiometabolic in nature. The clinical areas in which respondents least undertook screening activities were all related to cancer.

Conclusion Mental health nurses need to be mindful of the importance of screening service users for physical conditions and need appropriate education, skills training, resources and pathways to reduce screening gaps.

Mental Health Practice. doi: 10.7748/mhp.2022.e1608

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software

Correspondence

nashmi@tcd.ie

Conflict of interest

None declared

Nash M (2022) Examining the preventive health-screening activities of mental health nurses. Mental Health Practice. doi: 10.7748/mhp.2022.e1608

Published online: 07 June 2022

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