Cherishing Children with Heart Disease

The Sydney Children's Hospitals Network

In 2010, the team established Australia’s first integrated mental health service dedicated to childhood heart disease (CHD). The program transformed mental health outcomes for children and families, and inspired a service-wide culture of psychologically-informed paediatric cardiac care.

Results include:
  • Increased mental health referrals across SCHN Cardiac Services from 2 per year in 2009, to over 10 per week in 2018
  • Demonstrated the efficacy of a range of psychological interventions
  • Increased capacity from 1 psychologist in 2010, to 10 psychologists in 6 paediatric heart centres across ANZ in 2018
  • Developed one of the world’s largest mental health datasets in CHD

Specialist Rehabilitation Service Evaluation

Northern Sydney Local Health District

The Specialist Rehabilitation Service (SRS) provides a resource and support to consumers with complex, enduring mental health histories. A retrospective, concurrent mixed methods research design was undertaken to evaluate the SRS from 2012-17. 

The effectiveness of the SRS in supporting the consumers’ recovery was assessed across qualitative and quantitative measures over time. The quantitative data included self-reported measures of recovery, and frequency and duration of hospital admissions.

Results showed:
  • positive consumer outcomes
  • reduction in acute inpatient admission and length of stay
  • strengthened consumer goals
  • improved experience of recovery.

When Less is More - Weight Gain in Mental Health Units

Murrumbidgee Local Health District

When Less is More – Weight Gain in Mental Health Units
An audit of consumers on second generation antipsychotic (SGA) medication indicated an average weight gain of 13.96% during admission to the acute Mental Health Unit at Wagga Wagga Base Hospital. This project aimed to reduce weight gain to under 5% for consumers admitted for longer than 5 days, prescribed SGA medication, of baseline weight within or above the healthy weight range.

Post intervention, a repeat audit showed average weight gain had decreased to 1.6%, exceeding the project’s target. Metabolic monitoring increased from 70% to 88%. Effective interventions included psycho education, physical activity opportunities and routine metabolic monitoring.
Current as at: Friday 7 September 2018