Obesity and mental health.
The assignment extract addressed obesity, various associated health risks and some of the challenges relating to diet and weight management. This literature search will investigate if there is any link between an individual's mental health and obesity, while outlining related challenges to effective weight management. Are people with mental health issues, such as depression, anxiety or schizophrenia more likely to be obese than the general population? If so is there a consensus to the driving cause of any disparity, such as economic inequality, poor diet, and lack of physical activity or medication side effects. Also how can individuals with mental health problems best manage their weight and what role if any do mental health nurses have to play in this management? Service users and patients must be able to trust nurses with their health and wellbeing. The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC 2008) code of conduct demands nurses provide a high standard of practice and care at all times, based on the best available evidence. It is therefore a professional requirement that students and practitioners are able to find and evaluate evidence that will inform their education, professional development and practice.
Evidence based nursing is defined by Cullum (2008) as the application of valid, relevant, research-based information in nurse decision-making. However clinical behaviour should not be dictated by this information alone, but rather it should be used in conjunction with knowledge of the patient as an individual, the care setting, available resources and professional judgement.
Some are critical of evidence based practice (EBP) as merely stating the obvious, or as an attempt by policy makers to limit clinical freedom and even restrict the availability of patient treatment (Griffiths, 1999). Others say EBP is overly hierarchical in its use of evidence from formal research and excludes other forms of knowledge gathered informally that may be required to understand the complexity of real world nursing. EBP may also stifle critical thinking and debate among nurses, while policy makers and managers may take an overly risk adverse approach of slavish adherence to evidence based guidelines which may be counterproductive when it comes to quality of care, (O'Halloran, 2010).
Jolley (2010) describes EBP as a process by which ineffective or poor practices, which may only be based in tradition, are weeded out and replaced with better practices, thus improving patient care. When providing nursing care to obese mentally ill people best evidence and practice should be employed to help ensure the care delivered is effective and the challenges to healthy weight management are addressed.
A brief literature search will be carried out to address the question posed in this paper. Journals, articles and books will be searched for and then assessed for relevance and quality using the adapted CASP tool. The table below outlines the databases searched and the search terms applied.
Table 1. Databases searched;
Searches for books, academic journals, published articles etc. from the university library catalogue.
Online searchable archive, 1995 to present. Full text peer reviewed journal articles from 14 nursing journals.
Table 2. Search Strategy
No. of results
The phrase "mental health" in combination with the word obesity in the title of the search subjects.
2010 to 2013, english language, no country specified. Peer reviewed journals.
An examination of the extracts of the resulting papers was carried out. Papers judged to be relevant were retained for more detailed reading. A search of the library catalogue was carried out for mental health text books, the indexes of these books were then checked for mention of obesity. Books that did not...
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