Disclosure The authors report no conflict of interest.
Outcomes from the evaluation of an emergency department-based mental health nurse practitioner outpatient service in Australia
Article first published online: 10 FEB 2012
©2012 The Author(s) Journal compilation ©2012 American Academy of Nurse Practitioners
Journal of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners
Volume 24, Issue 3, pages 149–159, March 2012
How to Cite
Wand, T., White, K., Patching, J., Dixon, J. and Green, T. (2012), Outcomes from the evaluation of an emergency department-based mental health nurse practitioner outpatient service in Australia. Journal of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, 24: 149–159. doi: 10.1111/j.1745-7599.2011.00709.x
- Issue published online: 7 MAR 2012
- Article first published online: 10 FEB 2012
- Received: February 2011; , accepted: June 2011
- Nurse practitioner;
- mental health;
- emergency departments;
- patient satisfaction;
- staff satisfaction;
- mixed methods;
- realistic evaluation
Abstract Purpose: To evaluate an emergency department (ED)-based mental health nurse practitioner (MHNP) outpatient service in Sydney, Australia.
Data sources: Data collection incorporated waiting times for follow-up outpatient appointments, two brief self-report measures (the K-10 measure of psychological distress and the General Self-Efficacy Scale), a satisfaction tool, and interviews conducted with a random selection of outpatients and a stratified, purposive sample of ED staff.
Conclusions: Over 60% of outpatients were followed up within 5 days of their initial presentation. The mean K-10 score at baseline was 32 (very high psychological distress, n= 101) but this had decreased by two categories to 24 at follow-up (moderate psychological distress, n= 51). There was a modest association between decreased psychological distress and an increase in perceived self-efficacy. Participant satisfaction with aspects of the outpatient service was generally rated as high to very high. Interviewed outpatients (n= 23) were particularly positive about the accessibility, immediacy, and flexibility of the service and overall therapeutic benefits. Emergency staff (n= 20) considered the outpatient service enhanced service provision by facilitating access to a population of patients who were previously underserved.
Implications for practice: The ED-based MHNP role enhances access to specialized mental health care and also supports emergency staff.