Improving the physical health of long-term psychiatric inpatients
Peter Hjorth, Annette S Davidsen, Reinhold Kilian, Susan Pilgaard Eriksen, Signe OW Jensen, Helle Ø Sørensen, Povl Munk-Jørgensen
Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry
Background: Patients with psychiatric illness have increased somatic morbidity and increased mortality. Knowledge of how to integrate the prevention and care of somatic illness into the treatment of psychiatric patients is required. The aims of this study were to investigate whether an intervention programme to improve physical health is effective.
Methods: An extension of the European Network for Promoting the Health of Residents in Psychiatric and Social Care Institutions (HELPS) project further developed as a 12-month controlled cluster-randomized intervention study in the Danish centre. Waist circumference was a proxy of unhealthy body fat in view of the increased risk of cardiovascular diseases and type 2 diabetes.
Results: Waist circumference was 108 cm for men and 108 cm for women. Controlled for cluster randomization, sex, age, and body fat, the intervention group showed a small, but not significant, reduction in waist circumference, while participants in the control group showed a significant increase in waist circumference.
Conclusions: The intervention had a positive effect on the physical health of the patients measured by a reduction in the increase of waist circumference.