Improving Interprofessional Approaches to Physical and Psychiatric Comorbidities Through Simulation

Asanga Fernando, Chris Attoe, Peter Jaye, Sean Cross, James Pathan, Simon Wessely

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


Background Forty-six percent of individuals with mental health conditions have long-term physical illness, while 30% of individuals with long-term physical conditions have a mental illness. Physical and psychiatric comorbidities are of significant concern to medical, psychiatry, and primary care services, with policy, strategy, and literature highlighting the need to better address this interface. Simulation training has been proposed as a tool to improve clinicians' management of physical and psychiatric comorbidities. This study is the first to evaluate interprofessional simulation in improving management of such comorbidity. Method Participants (n = 63) were doctors and nurses from emergency, medical, psychiatric, and community services across primary and secondary care in South London. Quantitative and qualitative measures were completed before and after a one-day interprofessional simulation course addressing clinical care for physical and psychiatric comorbidities. Results Knowledge, confidence, and attitudes scores showed statistically significant improvements postcourse with large effect sizes. Thematic analyses highlighted the development of interprofessional working, clinical skills, reflective practice, leadership and teamwork, and communication skills. Conclusion Simulation training has the potential to improve professional development and clinical practice, with participants reporting increased abilities to provide better care to patients with physical and psychiatric comorbidities, exemplifying the case for increased simulation training in health care education.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)186-193
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Simulation in Nursing
Issue number4
Early online date23 Feb 2017
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2017


  • comorbidity
  • interprofessional
  • simulation
  • mental health
  • health care education


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