Authors: Girard A, Hudon C, Poitras ME, Roberge P, Chouinard MC
J Clin Nurs. 2017 May;26(9-10):1385-1394
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: To describe nursing activities in primary care with patients affected by physical chronic disease and common mental disorders.
BACKGROUND: Patients in primary care who are affected by physical chronic disease and common mental disorders such as anxiety and depression require care and follow-up based on their physical and mental health condition. Primary care nurses are increasingly expected to contribute to the care and follow-up of this growing clientele. However, little is known about the actual activities carried out by primary care nurses in providing this service in the Province of Quebec (Canada).
METHODS: A qualitative descriptive study was conducted. Data were obtained through semistructured individual interviews with 13 nurses practising among patients with physical chronic disease in seven Family Medicine Groups in Quebec (Canada).
RESULTS: Participants described five activity domains: assessment of physical and mental health condition, care planning, interprofessional collaboration, therapeutic relationship and health promotion.
CONCLUSION: The full potential of primary care nurses is not always exploited, and some activities could be improved. Evidence for including nurses in collaborative care for patients affected by physical chronic disease and common mental disorders has been shown but is not fully implemented in Family Medicine Groups. Future research should emphasise collaboration among mental health professionals, primary care nurses and family physicians in the care of patients with physical chronic disease and common mental disorders.
RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE: Primary care nurses would benefit from gaining more knowledge about common mental disorders and from identifying the resources they need to contribute to managing them in an interdisciplinary team.