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Keywords:

  • Severe mental illness;
  • physical health care;
  • teamwork;
  • chronic disease management;
  • collaborative care

Purpose

To identify how frequently nurses in mental health services communicate about physical health of consumers with other healthcare professionals, and whether such collaboration is associated with physical care actions with consumers.

Design and Methods

An online national Australian survey of nurses in mental health services.

Findings

Nurses discuss physical health frequently with general practitioners, psychiatrists, and case managers, and less frequently with occupational therapists, social workers, and nurse practitioners. Interprofessional attention was positively associated with direct physical health care such as clinical screening and health education.

Practice Implications

Interprofessional communication may support nurses in direct physical healthcare actions with consumers. Increasing collaborations with nurse practitioners, social workers, and occupational therapists need to be explored as part of clinical teamwork development.