Doctor of Nursing Practice
Dr. Myra Schmaderer
Dr. Paula Schulz
Objective: Serious mental illness (SMI) causes an increased risk for comorbidities like heart disease, obesity, metabolic syndrome, and diabetes. Many times, these comorbidities are due to side effects of antipsychotics and poor self-management from low insight and other symptoms of mental illness. This project aims to enhance client care enrolled in an Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) program by providing evidence-based resources tailored to clients with SMI, providing ACT team members with support to promote healthy behaviors in clients.
Methods: A website was developed that provides printable, easy-to-read, evidence-based resources that address physical comorbidities. The ACT team integrated these resources into its workflow for 12 weeks. Pertinent client health data was collected before and after 12 weeks. Usability and feasibility were measured by post-surveys assessing staff’s use and views of the website. Feasibility was also measured by weekly tallies by staff, showing how often resources were used and which topics were addressed. Website traffic data was collected.
Results: The website provided the ACT team with a central location for evidence-based resources. During the study, 16 (72%) of 22 clients improved or maintained their weight, and an average of 15 (88%) of 17 clients had improved or maintained their blood pressure. Post surveys of ACT team members indicated helpfulness and usability of the website with six (100%) of six staff giving positive remarks.
Conclusions: There is a need for accessible evidence-based resources for interdisciplinary teams that address physical comorbidities to improve outcomes for SMI populations, along with increasing team efficiency and satisfaction.
Brudigan, Andrea; Sewell-Muller, Laurie; and Tsogbevi, Kokuvi Sena, "The Usability and Feasibility of a Nursing Evidence-Based Comorbidity Educational Website for an Urban Mental Health Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) Program" (2022). Doctor of Nursing Practice Projects: College of Nursing. 12.