Authors: Sharon Lawn, Mick Urukalo, Trevor Parry, John Lawrence, SA
Event: 2003 TheMHS Conference
Subject: Recovery and Hope
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: The South Australian CDSM project (2002-3) was the first internationally to apply a generic, evidence-based model of self-management intervention to mental health consumers with (or with high risk of developing) physical health conditions. The project applied a range of quantifiable assessment and motivational tools, developed by the Flinders University Coordinated Care Training Unit (CCTU).These tools assisted consumers living in the community to identify their self-management needs and goals, and match these with suitable interventions. GPs and mental health professionals were trained in the use of the model to then work individually with consumers. This process was complemented by offering consumers peer-led, structured, self-management groups that were run over eight weeks and involving a number of lifestyle skills, based on the Lorig model (Lorig, 1993), named after Kate Lorig. of the Stanford Patient Education Research Centre in the USA. Thirty-eight consumers were involved in the trial with the majority participating in GP Enhanced Primary Care (EPC) or allied health care plans. Another first was recruitment and training of peer educators to support consumers with both one-to-one and group interventions. Twenty-one consumers participated in the groups. The findings were highly encouraging with most consumers showing significant improvements across the various tools measuring their self-management capabilities. These positive findings were supported by extensive qualitative evaluation involving consumers, peer educators, mental health professionals and GPs. The findings point to considerable gains for consumers and service providers despite the challenges and complexities associated with introducing a developmental, generic model within the mental health sector. The potential to improve overall quality of life and reduce the incidence and prevalence of concurrent physical health problems for consumers was realised.
The CDSM project was a joint partnership between the Southern Region Consumer Advisory Groups (SRCAGS), the Divisions of Mental Health of the Flinders Medical Centre (FMC), Mental Health Services for Older Persons and the Noarlunga Health Services. Other project stakeholders included the Southern Division of General Practice, the Second Story, a Division of the Child and Health Youth Service and the Mental Health Alliance of South Australia.