This Course examines why mental health disorders can be associated with both the onset and maintenance of chronic physical conditions.
16 Nov 2017
Dr Karen-Ann Clarke is a Registered General and mental health nurse who has worked in a wide variety of acute and community care mental health settings. Working as an academic at the University of the Sunshine Coast, her PhD research explored how women diagnosed with depression made the decision to receive electroconvulsive treatment. She is now engaged in work that focuses on the medicalisation of women’s health and emotional wellbeing. Teaching more than 600 students every year and involved in immersive mental health simulation, Karen-Ann has a passion for working with students in a way that minimises stigma and normalises emotional responses to life.
Health professionals caring for people with a mental health disorder and a chronic physical illness.
Enhance understanding of the reciprocal relationship between mental health disorders and chronic physical illness.
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.