Improving the physical health of people with severe mental illness: Boundaries of care provision

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Ehrlich, Carolyn
Kendall, Elizabeth
Frey, Nicolette
Kisely, Steve
Crowe, Elizabeth
Crompton, David
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2014
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Abstract

There is compelling evidence that the physical health of people with severe mental illness is poor. Health-promotion guidelines have been recommended as a mechanism for improving the physical health of this population. However, there are significant barriers to the adoption of evidence-based guidelines in practice. The purpose of this research was to apply existing implementation theories to examine the capability of the health system to integrate physical health promotion into mental health service delivery. Data were collected within a regional city in Queensland, Australia. Fifty participants were interviewed. The core theme that emerged from the data was that of 'care boundaries' that influenced the likelihood of guidelines being implemented. Boundaries existed around the illness, care provision processes, sectors, the health-care system, and society. These multilevel boundaries, combined with participants' ways of responding to them, impacted on capability (i.e. the ability to integrate physical health promotion into existing practices). Participants who were able to identify strategies to mediate these boundaries were better positioned to engage with physical health-promotion practice. Thus, the implementation of evidence-based guidelines depended heavily on the capability of the workforce to develop and adopt boundary-mediating strategies.

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International Journal of Mental Health Nursing
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23
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3
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Nursing
Specialist studies in education
Health services and systems
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