• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

This proposal is for a new textbook to help nursing students and other healthcare professionals promote and improve the health and wellbeing of those with mental health problems. There is a current review into nursing and healthcare education which is set to change the way nurses and healthcare professionals are trained in future years, and one of the report’s main recommendations is enabling nurses and other healthcare professionals to work with those with mental health problems regardless of their chosen ‘field’ of practice, recognising that those with mental health problems often are at increased risk of developing physical health problems (and vice versa). This book will help nurses understand how to promote physical health and general wellbeing in those with mental health problems, focussing on what interventions can work to make a difference in health outcomes for specific issues that may lead to poor physical health in this client group such as smoking, medication side effects, apathy and poor motivation. There are competing texts in this area, and two similar books from SAGE/ LM, but these have tended to focus on specific body systems and diseases, e.g. cardiovascular disease, whereas this is already covered in anatomy and physiology / pathophysiology books that all students tend to buy and read. The sales of the SAGE Collins title has been not as good as we’d hoped, perhaps due to this reason. Instead, the proposed book focusses on how to intervene to improve health, covering techniques such as motivational interviewing, promoting physical activity, smoking cessation etc. It has a positive recovery focus backed up by expert contributors who have experience of developing approaches for improving health and wellbeing in those with mental health problems. This is a timely publication in that it will be written to fit in with the current changes to nursing / health education and may benefit from a wider market than the Collins text since all nursing and healthcare students will be expected to be able to work with those with mental health problems, and health promotion/ improvement will assume a greater importance in the role of the nurse in new programmes. There is always a core module/ theme on health improvement and promotion in the second year of nursing programmes so the book will ‘map’ better onto these modules than the Collins book. The editors are very experienced lecturers and authors, and have assured me that they will be taking a close control over the final content of the book, rewriting contributions so that there is a unity and flow to the book. Tim is very well known in this field and has published widely, including a sucessful mental health textbook which sold over 4000 copies. The proposal reviewed really well, reflecting the points above, with two reviewers saying it would be essential reading, one saying it would be one of a few main books and one as recommended reading: ”“I consider the book as having significant relevance to the BSc nursing curriculum across adult and mental health fields and across all three years of the programme. . . I would recommend the book as essential reading and would be happy to promote it to each new intake of mental health nursing students as they commence their training” Rebecca Rylance, Liverpool John Moores. The majority of the reviews did not suggest any major changes, apart from one reviewer who felt it should include both body systems AND health and wellbeing aspects. I believe this would increase the size of the book and as suggested above, mean it replicates the content of other books students will be buying anyway, and so appeal less to students. However the authors have decided to add a chapter on common medical conditions such as cardio-vascular disease, diabetes, COPD etc to help mental health and other health care professionals understand how these impact / interact specifically with mental health conditions.

Signs and Symptoms of Common Physical Health Problems
Signs and Symptoms of Common Physical Health Problems
Pat Conaghan
Chapter Learning Outcomes

After reading this chapter, you will be able to:

  • Identify the three most common physical health problems experienced by people with mental health problems.
  • List the risk factors, presenting signs and symptoms of these conditions, as well as the impact of these conditions on a service user’s physical health.
  • Outline the immediate, short-term and long-term management of these conditions.
Multiple Choice Questions

We have included 10 multiple choice questions at the beginning of this chapter for readers wishing to test their knowledge of its contents. We have included the answers at the end of the chapter, but advise you not to check these until you have answered ...

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