Scott Brunero

PhD candidate

Mental health education programmes for generalist health professionals

Supervisors: Yun-Hee Jeon and Kim Foster

The high prevalence of mental illness in general hospital patients, deinstitutionalisation, mainstreaming figures and other data such as length of stay, have significant policy and practice implications. These implications may include arguing for the routine screening for mental illness in general hospital patients, the development of mental health services attached to these patients groups and the educational and professional development of general healthcare professionals needs to be debated. The literature has identified that there is poor knowledge, skill and attitude towards mental illness by generalist health profession. Health professionals not trained in mental health care delivery often receive inadequate preparation to meet the mental health needs of their patients and their recognition of the needs for more support, training and professional development in the delivery of this care.


This study aims to review and synthesise research evidence on mental health education programmes (MHEP) to develop strengthen knowledge, skills and attitude for general healthcare professionals (GHP).

Research questions
  1. What are the characteristics of MHEPs for GHPs?
  2. What are the effects of MHEPs?
  3. What are the barriers and/or facilitators to successful MHEPs in general hospital settings? (e.g. people factors, system factors, organisational factors, or mode of education delivery)
Method for the systematic review

Initial mapping and scoping searches have found a diverse range of methods used to evaluate MHEP’s, from quantitative studies (e.g. RCT’s, pre post test) to varying qualitative designs. Given this diversity and the nature of the research questions (not just ‘effectiveness’) that have been developed a narrative synthesis method has be chosen to conduct the systematic review.


The study will impact the way nursing education approaches mental health related topics at the post graduate level. By examining the evidence and content of the mental health education programmes international potential workforce education benchmarks for staff in general hospital settings could be determined