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Communication With Colleagues: Frequency of Collaboration Regarding Physical Health of Consumers With Mental Illness

Authors

  • Brenda Happell RN, RPN, BA (Hons), Dip Ed, B Ed, M Ed, PhD,

    Engaged Research Chair in Mental Health Nursing, Director, Corresponding author
    1. Central Queensland University, Institute for Health and Social Science Research, Centre for Mental Health Nursing Innovation, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia
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  • Chris Platania-Phung BA (Hons),

    Research Fellow
    1. Central Queensland University, Institute for Health and Social Science Research, Centre for Mental Health Nursing Innovation, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia
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  • David Scott BHM (Hons), PhD,

    Post-doctoral Research Fellow
    1. Central Queensland University, Institute for Health and Social Science Research, Centre for Mental Health Nursing Innovation, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia
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  • Janette Nankivell LLB (Hons), LLM

    Research Assistant
    1. Central Queensland University, Institute for Health and Social Science Research, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia
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  • Conflict of Interest Statement

    The authors report no actual or potential conflicts of interest.

  • Funding

    Research Advancement Award Scheme and Merit Grant Scheme of Central Queensland University provided the funding to make this work possible.

Abstract

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.

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