Vitale, A and Mannix-McNamara, P (2014) Mental health professionals’ experience of providing multidisciplinary care in Community Mental Health Teams in Ireland. In: International Congress of Applied Psychology, 8-13 July 2014, Paris, France.

Official URL:


In recent decades European mental health policy has specified the need to move from institutional to residential community based mental health care. This care should be provided by Community Mental Health Teams (CMHTs) that reflect the collaboration and expertise of multidisciplinary highly skilled health professionals, such as clinical psychologists, psychiatrists, nursing staff and allied health professionals. In Ireland the implementation of these CMHTs has been very limited with potential negative consequences for the quality of care provided to service users. To date little academic enquiry has been made to address this matter. The overall aim of the research was to profile CMHTs across the country and to explore the determinants and barriers of their effectiveness. A total of 738 health professionals from 70 CMHTs across the nation were surveyed. For each CMHT, a questionnaire was administered simultaneously to all team members at their mental health service. The findings indicated that the number of fully staffed, effective CMHTs was very low across the nation. Furthermore, the distribution of health professional categories across teams was uneven, with a high representation of medical and nursing staff comparing to psychologists and allied health professionals. The results also show that, the involvement of team members in assessing and shaping users’ treatment care was also uneven, with psychiatrists being the sole professional category involved in each aspect of the care. In addition, despite the recommendation of the current national policy, many CMHTs were lacking of defined criteria on how to provide integrate treatment care. Moreover participants identified many barriers in providing multidisciplinary care, such as conflicts across professional categories, lack of communication and, at external level, lack of adequate resources. It is hoped that the findings of this study will inform the current national and European mental health policy’s debate.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Keywords: Community Mental Health Teams, integrated mental health care
Divisions: College of Liberal Arts
Date Deposited: 07 Jul 2015 14:03
Last Modified: 29 Apr 2016 14:11
Request a change to this item or report an issue Request a change to this item or report an issue
Update item (repository staff only) Update item (repository staff only)