Publication name: Development and initial validation of the Minnesota Edinburgh Complexity Assessment Method (MECAM)
Date: 30 November 2011
Description: Development and initial Validation of the Minnesota Edinburgh Complexity Assessment Method (MECAM) for use within the Keep Well health check

Equally Well recommended that the Keep Well health check include an assessment of anxiety and depression. In response the programme commissioned the universities of Edinburgh and Stirling to develop and test a practical tool (MECAM) for nurses conducting Keep Well health checks that would assess mental wellbeing and bio-psychosocial need.

The evaluation tested the application of MECAM in two sites with results informing a revised design for application by those NHS Boards wishing to use the tool.

The key findings were:
-patient satisfaction levels were maintained
- referral patterns shifted to integrate social needs
- nurses valued MECAM and found it easy to implement
- time to administer MECAM was found to be acceptable if checks were 30 minutes or longer
- partial external validation was established.

MECAM worked well in known complex patient groups and further research is required if MECAM is to be considered as the preferred mental well-being assessment for Keep Well Health Checks.
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