Research suggests that patients with medical comorbidities often fail to articulate the concerns related to their mental health, which tends to make these issues untreated. For instance, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC] (2018), approximately 30% of cancer survivors do not share their psychological health problems with doctors. Naughton and Weaver (2014) also claim that cancer patients often develop various mental disorders, but their conditions are not addressed due to the lack of medical staff training.
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Rural patients are specifically vulnerable due to these people’s insufficient access to high-quality healthcare services. At the same time, numerous instruments have been developed to identify different types of comorbidities. However, the need for effective screening is apparent as in addition to negative patient outcomes they are associated with an increased financial burden for the healthcare system as comorbidities result in a higher 30-day readmission rate.
An illustration of this trend is the research by Singh, Zhang, Kuo, and Sharma (2016) that demonstrates the correlation between high readmission rates and certain psychological disorders including depression, psychosis, substance abuse, and anxiety. It is noteworthy that the current research is instrumental in improving the healthcare system and each healthcare professional’s performance.
Patients with various health issues often develop psychological disorders that may affect their overall state and the healing process. Treatment plans are also subjected to changes if some comorbidities occur (Singh et al., 2016). Therefore, it is critical to identify any mental health conditions patients may develop to ensure their effective treatment. Healthcare providers can improve their skills and receive training related to addressing mental health issues in patients (CDC, 2018). Medical staff should be able to utilize effective screening methods, identify the existing mental issues in patients, and develop an appropriate treatment plan for them. By addressing comorbidities, healthcare professionals will ensure the delivery of patient-centered and high-quality care.
One of the most significant outcomes of the current research for my practice is gaining valuable data concerning the available training options for nursing professionals. CDC (2018) outlines some aspects of such projects, which makes the primary aspects of these sources of knowledge visible. Although the limited access of rural patients to certain healthcare services has been discussed in academia, it was useful to learn more about the mental concerns of this population.
This research draws nursing professionals’ attention to the psychological disorders that tend to accompany different disorders. As far as the resources available in my community are concerned, they are rather scarce. These are confined to a limited number of programs for cancer survivors as well as some support groups for different populations (such as substance abusers). Although this research extended the scope of my knowledge, I still need more information to deliver high-quality care. For example, I need more data regarding the existing and the most effective training programs for nursing practitioners and interventions for patients with comorbidities. It is necessary to learn more about different types of psychological issues in different groups of patients with comorbidities.
To sum up, it is important to note that patients with medical comorbidities still have many untreated health issues. One of the major reasons for this situation is the lack of training provided to healthcare professionals who are unprepared to treat different health concerns. Rural patients may need specific attention as they are less likely to discuss their psychological issues and contact doctors, which harms their health.
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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2018). Provider education training to improve mental health care of cancer survivors. Web.
Naughton, M. J., & Weaver, K. E. (2014). Physical and mental health among cancer survivors. North Carolina Medical Journal, 75(4), 283-286. Web.
Singh, G., Zhang, W., Kuo, Y. F., & Sharma, G. (2016). Association of psychological disorders with 30-day readmission rates in patients with COPD. Chest, 149(4), 905-915. Web.