What does mental health nursing contribute to improving the physical health of service users with severe mental illness? A thematic analysis Academic Article uri icon


  • Authors have generally reported that mental health nurses (MHNs) have positive attitudes to providing physical health care to service users with severe mental illness. In the present study, we aimed to explore if this positive attitude translates to enhanced clinical practice by interviewing MHNs and the service users they work with. Semistructured interviews were completed with 15 service users and 18 MHNs from acute, rehabilitation, and community services. These were then transcribed and analysed using thematic analysis. Six themes emerged: (i) not the work of MHNs; (ii) the physical effects of psychiatric drugs are ignored; (iii) the need to upskill; (iv) keeping busy; (v) horrible hospital food/living on takeaways; and (vi) motivation to change. Our overarching meta-theme was of unmet physical health need among service users.

publication date

  • 2017