Pilot study of a health-focused day program on improving health behaviors, clinical functioning, and perceived wellness in individuals with severe mental illness

Nancy H. Liu, William D. Spaulding

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


Persons with severe mental illness (SMI) have poor physical health and high rates of premature death. There is limited research on health interventions for this population. This pilot study compares the health behaviors and perceived improvement of 2 day programs and comments on conducting research in health intervention in community-based persons with SMI. Nineteen individuals with SMI from a health-focused day program (HFP) and treatment-as-usual day program (TAU) were assessed for clinical functioning, health behaviors, and perceived improvement by using a semistructured interview and the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale. The special features of the HFP included special dietary planning, a well-equipped gym, staff instruction, supervision of exercise programs, and limited time for smoking. HFP participants reported higher fruit and vegetable intake and greater perceived improvement in confidence than those at the TAU. There were no differences in the amount of exercise and rates of smoking between the programs. Methodological implications for further research in this area are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)233-241
Number of pages9
JournalPsychological Services
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2010



  • Community day programs
  • Health behaviors
  • Severe mental illness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology

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