Original Research

Healthcare practitioners’ views of comprehensive care to mental healthcare users in a community setting

Ontlotlile I. Mpheng, Belinda Scrooby, Emmerentia du Plessis
Curationis | Vol 45, No 1 | a2349 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/curationis.v45i1.2349 | © 2022 Ontlotlile I. Mpheng, Belinda Scrooby, Emmerentia du Plessis | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 03 June 2022 | Published: 23 November 2022

About the author(s)

Ontlotlile I. Mpheng, School of Nursing Science, Faculty of Health Sciences, North-West University, Mahikeng, South Africa
Belinda Scrooby, School of Nursing Science, Faculty of Health Sciences, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa
Emmerentia du Plessis, School of Nursing Science, Faculty of Health Sciences, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: Comprehensive care means ensuring quality services, protecting rights, promoting available social services and using protocols and standards that emphasise quality assurance for all mental healthcare users (MHCUs). It also involves advocacy, early detection and rehabilitation, as well as encouraging appropriate patient-centred care to ensure adequate psychiatric care. However, according to research, there is a vacuum in the provision of comprehensive mental healthcare to MHCUs. As a result, there is an immediate need to consult healthcare providers on providing comprehensive community-based care to MHCUs.

Objectives: The purpose of this study was to explore and describe the views of healthcare practitioners on the aspects that hinder providing comprehensive care for MHCUs, the role players needed to execute comprehensive care and what can be done to improve comprehensive care for MHCUs in the community setting in one of the subdistricts of the North West province (NWP), South Africa (SA).

Method: A qualitative research design that was exploratory, descriptive and contextual was adopted. The healthcare practitioners that took part in the study were chosen through purposive sampling. The sample size was established through data saturation, and 19 telephonic semistructured individual interviews were held with registered nurses and one medical doctor. Tesch’s eight steps were used to analyse the data.

Results: The four main themes identified were: (1) healthcare practitioners’ understanding of comprehensive care to MHCUs, (2) factors hindering comprehensive care to MHCUs, (3) stakeholders needed for providing comprehensive care to MHCUs and (4) suggestions for improving comprehensive care to MHCUs.

Conclusion: Healthcare practitioners in the community advocate for the need for comprehensive psychiatric treatment. They are of the view that greater coordination of psychiatric services will improve mental treatment and minimise relapse in MHCUs. To sustain integrated psychiatry, stakeholders and other psychiatric programmes must be included.

Contribution: The findings and conclusions of this study indicated that improvement is needed in mental healthcare in general, and all relevant aspects to improve comprehensive care among MHCUs in a community setting should be given full attention.


Keywords

community; healthcare practitioners; comprehensive care; mental healthcare; mental healthcare users; rural; stakeholders

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