Nurses set 'bad example'21st March 2011
A study has found that mental health nurses could be affecting their patients by "setting a bad example" for them.
The study, by researchers at the University of East Anglia, discovered that many mentally ill people in the UK suffer from bad physical health.
The researchers looked at 782 people who had conditions which included schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, and found many were obese, had diabetes and heart disease.
The study suggested that this was the reason that many mentally ill people had lower life expectancies than the rest of the population.
Some research has shown that a severely mentally ill person has a life expectancy which is 25 years less than the average.
The most recent study revealed that bad physical health, rather than suicide, was the cause.
Mentally ill people were much more likely to drink to excess, eat a bad diet and smoke than the average.
Lead researcher Professor Richard Gray, of UEA's School of Nursing and Midwifery, said nurses were not adept at the management of the physical condition of their mentally ill patients.
He said his research showed mental health nurses had higher rates of smoking than the average and this might affect their patients.
"Since mental health workers tend to have sustained one-to-one relationships with their patients over many years, those who smoke, have a poor diet and fail to take regular exercise are having a negative influence on the lives of already vulnerable people," he added.
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Title: Nurses set 'bad example'
Author: Jess Laurence
Article Id: 17935
Date Added: 21st Mar 2011