SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Keywords:

  • evidence-based practice;
  • mental health;
  • mental health settings;
  • nursing role;
  • primary care

Accessible summary

  • The Mental Health Nurse Incentive Program (MHNIP) is a funding scheme in Australia that enables mental health nurses to work in primary care settings with people with complex mental health problems for as long as necessary. This study examined the outcomes of the programme as reported by nurses.
  • Nurses provided profiles of 64 people with whom they worked, including measures of symptoms and problems on admission to the programme and at a second point in time.
  • The findings showed that people had high levels of symptom severity and distress on admission, and they experienced significant improvements in all problem areas except physical health over their time working with the nurse.
  • The MHNIP appears to be addressing the needs of people with highly complex needs, but more sensitive measures of outcome ought to be routinely collected.

Abstract

The Mental Health Nurse Incentive Program (MHNIP) provides a funding mechanism for credentialed mental health nurses to work in primary care settings in Australia with people with complex and serious psychosocial and mental health problems. This project explored the extent to which the programme contributed to positive outcomes. Sixty-four service user profiles were provided by nurses working within the programme, including the Health of the Nation Outcome Scales (HoNOS), on admission and at the last review point. Mean total HoNOS scores on admission were higher than those typically seen on admission to inpatient care in Australia. Significant reductions in all problem areas except physical health problems were found at the last review point for this sample. These findings support the viewpoint that MHNIP is addressing the needs of people with the most complex needs in primary care and is achieving clinically significant outcomes.