Generalist health professional’s interactions with consumers who have a mental illness in nonmental health settings: A systematic review of the qualitative research [2018]

Generalist health professionals (GHPs) or those healthcare professionals working in nonmental health facilities are increasingly being required to provide care to consumers with a mental illness. The review aimed to synthesize the qualitative research evidence on the meanings and interpretations made by GHPs (nonmental health professional) who interact with consumers with mental illness in nonmental health settings. A systematic review of the qualitative literature was undertaken for the years 1994–2016. The following electronic databases were searched: CINAHL, MEDLINE, PsycINFO, and Sociological Abstracts. Using narrative synthesis methods, the following themes were identified: mental health knowledge (the GHPs’ knowledge level about mental illness and how this impacts their experiences and perceptions); GHPs perceive mental illness as a safety risk (GHPs concern over harm to the consumer and themselves); organizational support (the system response from the environmental design, and expert support and care); and emotional consequences of care (the feelings expressed by GHPs based on their experiences and perceptions of consumers). The results suggest that GHPs provide care in a setting which consists of multiple understandings of what care means. Efforts beyond educational initiatives such as organizational and system‐level changes will need to be implemented if we are to progress care for this consumer group.

Scott Brunero RN, DipAppSc, BAHsc, MA (Nurs Prac) Lucie M. Ramjan RN, PhD Yenna Salamonson RN, PhD Daniel Nicholls RN, BA (Hons), PhD

International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, Volume 27, Issue 6, December 2018