An Audit of Mental Health Care Plans in Community Mental Health Services for Older Persons in Rural Communities in a State in Australia

Devinda Lecamwasam, Neeraj Gupta, Malcolm Battersby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Mental health care planning is an important part of holistic, patient-centred care provision. Rural older adults represent a vulnerable population with unique and complex care needs requiring robust care planning approaches. This study’s aim was to audit care plan documentation for rural older Australians against quality standards. A retrospective review of the care plans from electronic case records was performed for all patients who were 65 years or older and managed by rural community mental health teams over a 12-month period. 72.1% of patients had a care plan available. Multiple assessment areas were sparsely documented, such as cognition (32%), self-harm risk assessments (29.8%), visual impairment (5.5%), hearing issues (5%) and Advance Care Directives (35.4%). This study highlighted the need for the development and implementation of a care plan template specific to rural older patients. Further research into care planning processes and barriers to implementation is also required for this population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)162-189
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of Behavioral Health Services and Research
Volume49
Issue number2
Early online date9 Jan 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022

Keywords

  • Mental health
  • Older adults
  • Rural and remote health care
  • Community mental health
  • Vulnerable populations
  • Wellbeing

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