Course Overview

Brief

This Course examines why mental health disorders can be associated with both the onset and maintenance of chronic physical conditions.

Learning Outcomes

  • Describe the reciprocal relationship between mental health disorders and chronic physical illness
  • List examples of chronic physical illness that are associated with mental health disorders
  • Identify how physical illness can be prevented or minimised in those individuals suffering from mental health disorders

Topics include:

  • Co-morbidities of physical and mental health
  • The Mental State Assessment
  • Preventing poor health outcomes

Target audience

Health professionals caring for people with a mental health disorder and a chronic physical illness.

Purpose

Enhance understanding of the reciprocal relationship between mental health disorders and chronic physical illness.

Need

It is widely known that a person who has been diagnosed with a chronic disease is at a greater risk of developing a mental health disorder, such as depression or anxiety disorder. What is perhaps less well known is the reverse, that is, that mental health disorders can be associated with both the onset, and maintenance of a chronic physical condition. People who have been diagnosed with depression, for example, are at an increased risk of developing heart disease, diabetes and chronic broncholitis. A person with schizophrenia is at a greater risk of becoming obese and developing diabetes and osteoporosis. Health professionals must understand why this is the case and be alert to the increased likelihood of comorbid chronic physical disorders in people diagnosed with mental health disorders. This understanding is fundamental to providing holistic care when caring for those with both a mental health disorder and a physical illness.

Health professionals in Australia that are registered with AHPRA are required to obtain continuing professional development (CPD) hours/points each year that relates to their context of practice, in order to comply with mandatory regulatory requirements.

Educators