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. 2012 Dec;9(4):233-40.

The Northampton Physical Health and Wellbeing Project: The Views of Patients With Severe Mental Illness About Their Physical Health Check

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Free PMC article

The Northampton Physical Health and Wellbeing Project: The Views of Patients With Severe Mental Illness About Their Physical Health Check

Sheila Hardy et al. Ment Health Fam Med. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

Background Annual health checks are recommended for people with severe mental illness, as they are at high risk of cardiovascular disease. We trained practice nurses from six primary care centres in Northampton, in the UK, how to deliver health checks for this population. Aims The purpose of this study was to examine patients' views about the physical health check delivered by a nurse trained in the Northampton Physical Health and Wellbeing (PhyHWell) project. Method We interviewed five patients from three primary care centres using a topic guide. Results From a total of 29 patients who were invited, five attended. They had a good understanding of the importance of a healthy diet and taking regular exercise, but did not appear to be aware of the risk of cardiovascular disease. Being treated consistently by the same healthcare professional and/or by a nurse was cited as a helpful factor in managing their physical health. Most of the patients were glad to be invited for a health check and thought that it was worthwhile. They would have liked more information about blood tests and medication. All of the patients reported that they had started to make changes to their lifestyle since the health check. Recommendations Training for practice nurses to provide physical health checks for people with severe mental illness should emphasise the patients' views of what will make them effective.

Keywords: health check; patients; physical health; primary care; severe mental illness.

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