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Mental ill-health among adult patients at healthcare centres in Sweden: district nurses experiences
Kristianstad University, School of Health and Society, Avdelningen för Sjuksköterskeutbildningarna. Kristianstad University, Research Platform for Collaboration for Health.
Kristianstad University, School of Health and Society.
Kristianstad University, Research Environment Children's and Young People's Health in Social Context (CYPHiSCO). Kristianstad University, Research Platform for Collaboration for Health. Kristianstad University, School of Health and Society, Avdelningen för Sjuksköterskeutbildningarna.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1424-8336
2017 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences, ISSN 0283-9318, E-ISSN 1471-6712Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

BACKGROUND: Mental ill-health among the general population is increasing in Sweden. Primary Health Care (PHC) and Healthcare Centres (HCC), where district nurses (DNs) work, bear the basic responsibility for treatment of mental ill-health, while severe mental ill-health fall under the responsibility of psychiatric specialist care. The increased prevalence of mental ill-health in the community means that DNs increasingly encounter people with mental health problems - not least as a comorbidity. How well DNs are equipped to deal with mental ill-health is currently unclear.

AIM: The purpose of this study was to explore district nurses' experience of encountering and dealing with mental ill-health among adult patients at healthcare centres.

DESIGN: A qualitative explorative approach was used to capture the experiences of the phenomena under study.

METHODS: Individual interviews were conducted with 10 DNs working at six HCCs. The interviews were transcribed and analysed by qualitative content analysis.

RESULTS: The result emerged as several subcategories captured by three categories: (i) having competence - a prerequisite for feeling confident; (ii) nursing mental ill-health requires time and commitment; and (iii) working in an organisation without preparedness, encompassed by the synthesising theme; nursing mental ill-health requires specific competence and organisational support.

CONCLUSION: Working as a DN requires formal and informal competence when encountering patients with complex health needs. The findings revealed that the DNs could feel insecure regarding how to deal with patients with mental ill-health due to lack of knowledge. Assessment of patients with mental ill-health is time- and energy-consuming and calls for improved teamwork at HCCs as well as effective collaboration with psychiatric specialist care and other care givers. The DNs responsibility to fulfil their work considering the increasing number of mental ill-health among people that seeks help at HCCs needs to be acknowledged and met by the PHC organisation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017.
Keyword [en]
Adults, district nurses, encounter, experiences, healthcare centres, mental ill-health, primary health care
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hkr:diva-17609DOI: 10.1111/scs.12540PubMedID: 29131370OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hkr-17609DiVA, id: diva2:1158446
Available from: 2017-11-20 Created: 2017-11-20 Last updated: 2017-11-20Bibliographically approved

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