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Dr Justin Chapman from the Metro South Health Addiction and Mental Health Service has just started a two-year research project aiming to improve the health and wellbeing of people with mental illness.
The research has been funded through the Research Support Scheme which fosters innovative research projects through Metro South Health (MSH) that translate evidence into health and medical outcomes.
Through this research, Dr Chapman hopes to identify an intervention that will promote adoption and maintenance of physical activity in people with mental illness.
People with mental illness are two times more likely to have cardiovascular disease due to lifestyle factors such as poor nutrition, smoking and reduced physical activity. The side effects of some medications can also contribute to poor metabolic health.
“We have strong evidence that demonstrates people with mental illness have poor health outcomes,” said Dr Chapman. “There is also strong evidence showing that physical activity can reduce mental health symptoms and improve overall health and wellbeing.
“We want to find out how we best assist consumers to improve their physical and mental health and change their behaviour to produce lasting lifestyle changes.”
The project is using a randomised control trial design to compare two interventions to promote adoption and maintenance of physical activity with adults with mental illness to see which is most effective in producing behaviour change.
“We are focusing on the participant experience throughout the research trial to ensure the most effective intervention will translate to support consumers in a variety of settings.”
“QIMR Berghofer and Metro North HHS completed a small pilot trial of interventions in 2017. The research grant has enabled us to use the results of the pilot study to undertake a full randomised trial.”
The research aims to recruit 80 participants in four program rounds in 2018 and 2019. To find out more information about the study and how to refer clients for participation, please email Justin.Chapman@health.qld.gov.au.
Applications for the 2019 Research Support Scheme grants are now open. Click here for guidelines, application forms and more information.