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Evidence-based mental health
  1. Maxine Kempster, Rn, BSc
  1. Poole, Dorset, UK

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Firstly, I would like to welcome the publication of Evidence-Based Nursing in that it provides, through the abstracts and commentaries, a useful method of finding a way through the mass of information currently deemed essential reading if nurses are to apply research findings to practice.

I am particularly pleased to see the qualitative studies which attempt to explore, as Anne Mulhall highlighted in the EBN notebook, the meaning of situations for researcher and subject, meanings which, as she says, cannot easily fit into the notion of scientific, quantitative research methods, essential as these may be in other areas.

I was disappointed to see, however, that although some of the studies did focus on what might be called psychosocial aspects of health and illness, few of them focused primarily on mental health and illness. Does this reflect a dearth of research studies in this field? Unless such matters are addressed more fully, I feel that the journal will have little appeal to mental health nurses in the UK and will miss an opportunity to promote research-based practice in an area where it has perhaps, traditionally, been lacking.

Editors' response:

Thank you for taking the time to give us feedback. We are endeavouring to ensure that although this is a general journal, it contains something of interest for everyone. We are certainly keen to find ways of ensuring that we identify good quality research concerned with mental health and illness and in this issue you will find papers on grief intensity after pregnancy loss, and the impact of prenatal alcohol exposure on behaviour and learning problems in adolescence. It would be helpful if you could review the list of journals that we have read to identify studies for inclusion in Evidence-Based Nursing. If there are any journals that report studies related to nursing and mental health that we are currently not reviewing, we would be pleased to know about them. You might also like to know that a new international, multidisciplinary journal, Evidence-Based Mental Health was launched by the BMJ Publishing Group and the Royal College of Psychiatrists in February 1998. All studies considered for that journal are also reviewed for possible inclusion in Evidence-Based Nursing.

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