Consumers at the centre: interprofessional solutions for meeting mental health consumers’ physical health needs

Brenda Happell*, Chris Platania-Phung, Julia Bocking, Stephanie B. Ewart, Brett Scholz, Robert Stanton

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    13 Citations (Scopus)


    Interprofessional care and consumer-oriented services are embodied in modern healthcare policy and practice. The views, needs, and values of consumers are essential to ensuring translation of policy to practice. This is particularly pertinent for people diagnosed with mental illness who experience a higher risk of physical health problems and premature death. A qualitative, exploratory research project was conducted, involving focus groups with members of a mental health consumer group in the Australian Capital Territory. Participants were asked about their experiences and opinions in relation to physical health and care and treatment provided. Focus group transcripts were thematically analysed. Three themes arose via analysis: (1) Meeting diverse physical healthcare needs, where mental health consumers connect with many types of healthcare providers, conventional and non-conventional, (2) centre of the interprofessional team for holistic care, where there is preference for a consumer-centred group effort in addressing health issues as the model of care, and (3) more gateways, less gatekeeping, where points of access were affected by cost, place and gatekeepers could be enabling. People with mental illness seek enhanced collaboration between a broader range of health professionals, with potential to contribute to their overall health and well-being.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)226-234
    Number of pages9
    JournalJournal of Interprofessional Care
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 4 Mar 2019


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