Initial psychometric evaluation of the physical health attitude scale and a survey of mental health nurses

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Accessible summaryWhat is known on the subject? A clear association exists between serious mental illness (SMI) and poor physical health. Individuals with SMI have markedly higher risks for mortality and morbidity. Mental health nurses play an important role in enhancing service users' mental and physical well-being. The attitudes of mental health nurses towards physical health care have been explored in the western part of the world. However, cross-country differences should be determined to reveal the importance of this global issue. What the paper adds to existing knowledge? This study adds new data to the literature on the Physical Health Attitude Scale's (PHASe) validity and nurses' attitudes when working in acute mental health services in different cultures. Nurses in acute mental health wards mostly focus on the basic physiological indicators of patients' existing physical health problems, so health promotion practices such as sexual health and eye/dental examinations are neglected for individuals with SMI. Nurses' higher level of confidence about their delivery of physical health care is due to their familiarity with basic nursing practices (e.g. monitoring blood pressure and checking blood glucose levels). Differences that exist between countries in relation to smoking habits are probably due to different regulations. What are the implications for practice? To improve patients' physical healthcare outcomes, nurses should be provided with additional training and supervision to strengthen their skills and confidence. Nurses' perceived need for additional training reflects the importance of physical health care in mental health settings, in which training could substantially improve patient outcomes. Authors believe that standard protocols must be established in acute psychiatric care to eliminate obstacles to holistic patient care. Training needs of mental health nurses on health promotion practices should be considered by administrators of mental health settings. Nurses play an important role in improving the physical health of individuals with serious mental illnesses. The literature on the attitudes of mental health nurses towards physical health care provides a small amount of data. Assessing trends in nurses' attitudes through suitable surveys is important to ensure holistic care. This study sought to examine the Turkish version of the Physical Health Attitude Scale's (PHASe) validity and reliability and to survey Turkish mental health nurses' attitudes towards physical health care. The sample consisted of 174 nurses working in acute psychiatric wards. Firstly, the psychometric properties of the scale were analysed using factor analysis and measures of internal consistency and reliability. Then, the survey results of the attitudes of mental health nurses towards the physical health of patients with serious mental illnesses were determined using the Physical Health Attitude Scale (PHASe). The translated PHASe functioned best as a 24-item version and 4-factor solution that explains 51.3% of the variance. The internal consistency value was 0.83. The respondents' attitudes were generally positive about their role. There was less agreement for the involvement of nurses in practices of health promotion, such as sexual health, eye and/or dental examinations. The nurses surveyed also tended to use smoking for therapeutic purposes. Mental health nurses' knowledge and attitudes should be enhanced by additional training in the ways of meeting patients' biopsychosocial needs. Obstacles to physical health care can be removed by implementing standard protocols nationwide. IntroductionAim/QuestionMethodResultsImplications for practice


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Attitude, Delivery Of Health Care, Health, Mental Health, Nurses, Patients, Surveys And Questionnaires, Validity And Reliability


Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing

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Özaslan, Z., Bilgin, H., Uysal Yalçın, S., & Haddad, M. (2020). Initial psychometric evaluation of the physical health attitude scale and a survey of mental health nurses. Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing, 27(1), 62-76.