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Mental healthcare users (Psychiatric patients) will more likely adhere to their medication if they view nurses as ‘being present’

Psychiatric nurse specialist, Mrs Lillian Kalimashe, recently completed her master’s degree study titled: The relationship between mental healthcare users’ medication adherence and the nursing presence of registered nurses in primary healthcare.

Through her study, she contributed immensely to our understanding of presence. Her study investigated the relationship between two important elements in providing primary healthcare to mental healthcare users (psychiatric patients). These elements are 1) mental healthcare users’ adherence to their medication, and 2) their view on the nursing presence of registered nurses. This study took place in specific primary healthcare clinics in a densely populated urban health district in South Africa.

Mrs Kalimashe applied a quantitative, non-experimental, descriptive correlational and cross-sectional design. This means that she invited 180 mental healthcare users to complete two questionnaires, namely the Medication Adherence Rating Scale (MARS) and the Presence of Nursing Scale (PONS). The MARS was developed by Katherine Thompson, Jayashri Kulkarni and Alex Sergejew. The PONS was developed by Carol Kostovich.

The analysis of the responses showed that there was a strong positive correlation between PONS and MARS, meaning that mental healthcare users who experienced nurses as displaying presence were also likely to report higher levels of adherence to their medication.

Mrs Kalimashe is in the process of writing a scientific article on her study, and she also wrote a chapter for our upcoming book on presence. Her mini-dissertation is available at the North-West University’s library. She also shared her insights on the Caring presence YouTube channel.

We acknowledge the financial support towards her study provided by the National Research Foundation of South Africa.

We wish Mrs Kalimashe well on her career ahead, and we thank her for her valuable contribution to our understanding of presence.

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