Research Articles

Integrating mental health care services in primary health care clinics: a survey of primary health care nurses’ knowledge, attitudes and beliefs

Faith Dube, Leana N. Uys
South African Family Practice | Vol 58, No 3 : May/June| a5670 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/safp.v58i3.5670 | © 2022 Faith Dube, Leana N. Uys | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 17 November 2022 | Published: 01 May 2016

About the author(s)

Faith Dube, School of Nursing and Public Health, College of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
Leana N. Uys, School of Nursing and Public Health, College of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa

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Abstract

Background: Nurses are the main providers of care at primary health care (PHC) clinics; the high incidence of mental health problems at these clinics means that PHC nurses are important providers of mental health care. The PHC nurses’ knowledge regarding provision and identification of mental health problems has been shown to be poor.

Aim: The study aimed to investigate the knowledge, attitudes and beliefs concerning the care of psychiatric patients at PHC level amongst nurses.

Setting: The study was conducted in uThungulu Health District in the Northern Area of KwaZulu-Natal Province. Six clinics were purposively selected based on their geographical location.

Methods: The study used a quantitative survey using a structured questionnaire. Simple descriptive analysis and one-way ANOVA were used to analyse the data.

Results: The study revealed that 39% of the nurses were between the ages of 41 and 50 years and 92% were females. The association between past experience in working with psychiatric patients and positive attitude of nurses was found to be significant.

Conclusion: This study found that PHC nurses’ attitudes and beliefs towards people with mental illness were positive. PHC nurses were found to have inadequate knowledge to manage psychiatric patients.


Keywords

attitudes; beliefs; integration; knowledge

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