Image of tennis shoes

The Benefit of Rating Physical Activity for Individuals with Severe Mental Illness

In Findings, Mental Illness, News, Research Findings, Resources by SVRI0 Comments

4.33 avg. rating (84% score) - 3 votes

Individuals with severe mental illness are at greater risk for certain physical health problems, including type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome, when compared to the general population. Approximately 50% of individuals with severe mental illness have at least one physical health problem, and nearly 35% have physical health problems that are undiagnosed or untreated. In addition, 60% of individuals with severe mental illness engage in low levels of physical activity, and assessment of physical activity in this population is quite challenging.

Results

A recent study investigated potential differences between ratings of physical activity provided by clients and case managers using body mass index (BMI) as the measure of physical health. A strong relationship was found between case manager ratings of clients’ physical activity levels and BMI, but ratings provided by clients were not associated with BMI. Professionals appear to provide useful ratings of physical activity that may be more accurate than self-report data.

Supports

Support from service providers may aid in health promotion of individuals with severe mental illness. Service providers may also provide useful assessments of an individual’s level of functioning in relation to health promotion and physical activity.

Outcomes

A recent study investigated potential differences between ratings of physical activity provided by clients and case managers using body mass index (BMI) as the measure of physical health. A strong relationship was found between case manager ratings of clients’ physical activity levels and BMI, but ratings provided by clients were not associated with BMI. Professionals appear to provide useful ratings of physical activity that may be more accurate than self-report data.

Bottom Line

Developing a simple, concise measure of physical activity for individuals with severe mental illness, which includes input from service providers, is necessary. Regular measurement of physical activity will also remind professionals of the importance of physical activity and the effectiveness of current strategies to improve physical health. By promoting improved physical health, individuals with disabilities including severe mental illness will experience significant improvements in overall quality of life.


Read More

Source: Bezyak, J., Chan. F., Lee, E.J., Catalano, D., and Chiu, C.Y. (2012). Physical activity in individuals with severe mental illness: Client vs. case manager ratings. Rehabilitation Counseling Bulletin, 56(1), 62-64.


Learn More

Use these resources to learn more about this topic:

  • Bezyak, J., Berven, N., & Chan, F. (2011). Stages of change of physical activity among individuals with severe mental illness. Rehabilitation Psychology, 56(3), 182-190.
  • Richardson, C.R., Faulkner, G., McDevitt, J., Skrinar, G.S., Hutchinson, D.S., & Piette, J.D. (2005). Integrating physical activity into mental health services for persons with serious mental illness. Psychiatric Services, 56, 324-331.
  • Health Promotion Programs for Persons with Serious Mental Illness: What Works?

Download this Article (pdf)


Rate the Research Article

Please tell us what you think of this article about applying Evidence-Based Practices?

 

Share

Leave a Comment