• Assessment of a Chronic Disease Self-management Program to Increase Physical Activity of Adults with Severe Mental Illness

      Strong, Julia R. (2015)
      Compared to the general population, individuals with severe mental illness (SMI) experience excessive co-morbidities and early mortality. Sedentary lifestyle patterns and lack of integration of physical and mental health care are complicating factors. Research has demonstrated that self-management programs have the potential to increase physical activity levels of individuals with SMI and reduce the incidence of co-morbidities. The purpose of this quality improvement project was to assess a chronic disease self-management program (CDSMP) to increase physical activity of adults with SMI. A convenience sample of twelve consumers of a psychiatric rehabilitation program (PRP) in a rural area on Maryland's Eastern Shore was utilized. Physical activity was measured by the total number of daily steps tracked with a pedometer. Results of data analysis indicated that there was no statistically significant difference In steps across the six weeks of the program, X2 (5, n=12) = 3.685,p = .596). However, findings confirmed that individuals with SMI are capable of using a pedometer and tracking steps on a daily basis. Of twelve participants, more than 50% tracked steps for at least three weeks of the program, four participants tracked steps for six weeks of the program, and all participants completed the program. Inspection of median values of the groups indicated an upward trend from week one to week four of the program, a finding that is clinically significant for individuals with SMI who are typically sedentary. An interprofessional approach supported the project and enable linkages of key community stakeholders.