Physical Health of Young People in Inpatient Mental Health Services: A 6-month Prospective Study
WHAT is the message?
Your physical health and mental health are closely linked.
BOTH need care and attention to promote positive wellbeing.
WHY is this important?
Taking care of your physical health may help improve your mental health, as we know both are closely linked. However, when it comes to understanding how lifestyle choices and physical health of young people are impacted by an admission to a mental health inpatient ward – WE NEED MORE INFORMATION!
We want to improve the services we offer to young people on our inpatient wards and to ensure that when they are admitted the high-quality care that they receive has both their mental AND physical health in mind. This is especially important for our young people as it can have a significant impact on their development across multiple life domains (physical, mental/emotional, educational and social), as well as nourishing their potential to thrive in society.
Therefore, when our young people are admitted to mental health inpatient wards, we want to know- ‘WHAT HAPPENS TO THEIR PHYSICAL HEALTH?’ The most effective way that we can learn this is by asking the young people who are admitted to our mental health wards about their physical health. That is exactly what we are doing!
Through this feasibility study we have the opportunity to pave the way for more research in this area, with the ultimate goal of building an evidence base for the development of physical health interventions on our wards. We want our CAMHS Physical Health Monitoring Study to change the way we view physical health in mental health inpatient settings and to put the physical health of our young people on the agenda!
HOW will we gather data?
We will ask the young people questions about various aspects that make up their wellbeing (physical health, mental health and lifestyle behaviours e.g., exercise). We will do this at 3 key time points:
- Within 6 weeks of their admission
- 3 months after their admission
- 6 months after their admission
We will use data from the different time points to compare and analyse the impact that inpatient admissions have, comparing those who remain on inpatient units to those who are discharged into the community.
The young people will also be given the opportunity to partake in an in-depth interview, about their experiences of physical health care. When it comes to their physical health, we want to learn their views about:
What doesn’t work?
AND…. What could work?
WHO we want to recruit and WHERE we are recruiting?
We aim to recruit 125 young people (ages 14-18) across 4 separate Trusts in the North of England.
The inclusion criteria are:
- All participants must be within 6 weeks of admission.
- Current inpatient at generic adolescent inpatient unit aged 14-18.
- They must have the capacity to be able to provide informed consent.
The exclusion criteria are:
- They cannot be in current treatment for an eating disorder.
When is Y-Health taking place?
Y-Health began recruiting participants in April 2021 and all research data will be collected by March 2023.