Exploring the views of nurses on the cardiometabolic health nurse in mental health services in Australia

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People with serious mental illness experience premature death due to higher rates of cardiometabolic conditions (e.g. cardiovascular disease, diabetes) than the general population. Mental health services often do not provide sufficient cardiometabolic clinical care to address these risks. The cardiometabolic health nurse (CHN) role has been suggested as a strategy for ensuring integrated care is provided and sustained. The views of nurses in mental health would be essential in informing the viability and development for this initiative. This paper presents the findings of open-ended comments from a cross-sectional online survey of nurses working in mental health in Australia (n = 643) eliciting views about the possible introduction of the cardiometabolic nurse. Thematic analysis was undertaken, of 133 open comments on this topic. The findings suggest that nurses see the specialist role as suitable and valuable for mental health services. Some nurses voiced concern about specialisation leading to fragmentation (e.g. in responsibilities for physical health, division of mental and physical health care, and less emphasis on equipping all nurses with comprehensive care skills), especially for settings where generalist nursing was seen as already available. The findings suggest this role is viewed favourably by nurses, provided that it is consistent with holistic and comprehensive care. Empirical research is needed to see whether this role increases holism (as valued by consumers and nurses) and cardiometabolic outcomes.




Happell, B., Platania-Phung, C., Stanton, R., & Millar, F. (2015). Exploring the views of nurses on the cardiometabolic health nurse in mental health services in Australia. Issues in Mental Health Nursing, 36(2), 135–144. https://doi.org/10.3109/01612840.2014.901449

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