Nursing considerations for dual diagnosis in mental health.

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International journal of nursing practice, ISSN: 1440-172X, Vol: 15, Issue: 2, Page: 74-9

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Edward, Karen-Leigh; Munro, Ian
Wiley-Blackwell; Blackwell Publishers Inc
Nursing; dual diagnosis; mental illness; nursing; substance use; Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing
review description
It is the intention of this literature review to present suggestions for nursing practice with reference to the care of the dually diagnosed. Nursing care of the dually diagnosed client is complex. Clinicians from both drug and alcohol services and mental health services have long recognized that neither service area provides adequate clinical care to those clients who have a dual diagnosis of substance abuse and mental illness. It is now > 10 years since a ground-breaking Australian study recognized this. To ascertain whether there has been improvement in the service management of clients who have a dual diagnosis, and to determine the best practice interventions in the area of mental health nursing, we undertook a review of the literature. The databases CINAHL, MEDLINE, PsycARTICLES and PsychINFO were searched and 185 articles met the inclusion criteria. From this review, it seems that gaps still remain in the provision of services and that mental health nurses might be best placed to provide integrated care to those clients who have a dual diagnosis and present to mental health services. This requires mental health nurses to have skills in substance use detection and knowledge of potential care implications for the client in the context of their substance use.