Pilot-testing of “healthy body healthy mind”: An integrative lifestyle program for patients with a mental illness and co-morbid metabolic syndrome

Jenifer A. Murphy*, Georgina Oliver, Chee H. Ng, Clinton Wain, Jennifer Magennis, Rachelle S. Opie, Amy Bannatyne, Jerome Sarris

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
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Background: Metabolic syndrome and co-morbid physical health conditions are highly prevalent in people with a mental illness. Modifiable lifestyle factors have been targeted to improve health outcomes. Healthy Body Healthy Mind (HBHM) program was developed to provide an integrated evidence-based program incorporating practical diet and exercise instruction; alongside meditation and mindfulness strategies, and comprehensive psychoeducation, to improve the physical and mental health of those with a mental illness. Methods: We report on two data points: (1) Qualitative data derived from the first HBHM program (version 1) exploring its utility and acceptance according to patient feedback; (2) Biometric and mental health data collected on the modified and enhanced 12-week HBHM program (version 2) involving a pilot of 10 participants. Mental and physical health outcomes, weight, abdominal circumference, fasting glucose, cholesterol, and triglycerides were measured at program entry and completion. Results: Qualitative data from HBHM version 1 provided valuable feedback to redevelop and enhance the program. At the end of the HBHM (version 2) 12-week program, a significant mean weight loss of 2 kg was achieved, p = 0.023. There was also a significant reduction in abdominal circumference (mean = 2.55 cm) and a decrease in BMI of almost one point (mean = 0.96 kg/m2), p = 0.046 and p = 0.019, respectively. There were no significant changes in mental health measures or on any other biometrics. Conclusion: Pilot data from the HBHM program found significant reductions in weight and abdominal obesity. The HBHM program could benefit from further modifications, and study replication is required using a controlled design in a larger sample.

Original languageEnglish
Article number91
JournalFrontiers in Psychiatry
Issue numberMAR
Publication statusPublished - 6 Mar 2019


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