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Keywords:

  • attitude;
  • continuing education;
  • general health professional;
  • knowledge;
  • mental health;
  • skill

ABSTRACT

Mainstreaming of mental health services has led to an increase in the presentation and care of mental health patients in generalist health settings. The lack of adequate mental health educational preparation of general health professionals (GHP) has been identified as a major barrier to meeting the health-care needs of mental health patients. This study aimed to review and synthesize research evidence on mental health education programmes (MHEP) that have been designed to develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes of GHP. An integrative literature review was conducted following a search of key electronic databases and hand searching of references of relevant papers, and 25 papers met the study inclusion criteria. Knowledge, skill, and attitudinal improvements in GHP post MHEP were shown in most studies. MHEP that included supervised clinical experience, role play, and case scenarios were reported as being more effective. Issues such as patient participation in education, interprofessional education models, and the willingness, interest and, motivation for GHP to be involved in MHEP warrant further research.