Nursing gowns aren’t going away anytime soon, and that’s good news for those who can’t afford the more expensive ones.
According to a new study, those with mental health issues would benefit the most from more affordable nursing gown options.
In the study, published in the journal Nursing Care, researchers looked at how many nursing gown policies were in place in the U.S. and compared them to what was in place before the recession hit.
“We found that policies that were in effect before the economic downturn were associated with a decrease in mental health and physical health problems for all types of people, regardless of mental health status,” said the study’s lead author, Stephanie Burdett, an associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Florida.
According the researchers, there are several factors that can influence nursing gown use.
First, policies may be more restrictive than they need to be.
Second, there’s an economic incentive to ensure there’s a minimum supply of gowns for nursing home residents.
“Nursing homes were not doing as well in terms of the number of nurses they had,” said Burdet.
“So it was really the nursing home owners that had more money that were getting rid of their nurses.”
According to Burdert, these factors make nursing gown policy more important than it might be at first glance.
“These policies could be a little more stringent than they could have been, but they could be more forgiving of more people who were being really underutilized in nursing homes,” she said.
If you or someone you know needs help with mental illness, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK or go to npr.org/mentalhealth.
Sources: TechCrunch, HealthDay, The Huffington Post