Integrating Mental Health Concepts in the Care of Adults With Chronic Illnesses: A Curricular Enhancement.

Journal Article (Journal Article)


In the United States, inadequate attention has been given to the mental health needs of chronically ill adults, and the attempts to integrate mental health in primary care have fallen short.


This article describes the beginning efforts of the faculty at Duke University School of Nursing to integrate mental health concepts into its adult-gerontological nurse practitioner and family nurse practitioner curricula.


Competency and course content mapping activities revealed opportunities for mental health enhancement. Five mental health concepts were identified for module development: spectrum of emotions, validation skills, self-management, resilience, and diversity. Mental health modules will be integrated in the nurse practitioner Physical Assessment and Diagnostic Reasoning course, as well as in various clinical courses.


Challenges and lessons learned, including efforts to foster active interprofessional learning among medical, physician assistant, and nurse practitioner students, are described.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Hendrix, CC; Pereira, K; Bowers, M; Brown, J; Eisbach, S; Briggs, ME; Fitzgerald, K; Matters, L; Luddy, C; Braxton, L

Published Date

  • November 2015

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 54 / 11

Start / End Page

  • 645 - 649

PubMed ID

  • 26517077

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1938-2421

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0148-4834

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.3928/01484834-20151016-06


  • eng