Open Access Review

Effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of lifestyle interventions on physical activity and eating habits in persons with severe mental disorders: A systematic review

Nick Verhaeghe1*, Jan De Maeseneer1, Lea Maes1, Cornelis Van Heeringen1 and Lieven Annemans12

Author Affiliations

1 Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Ghent University, De Pintelaan 185 B-9000 Ghent, Belgium

2 Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Laarbeeklaan 103 B-1090 Brussel, Belgium

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International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 2011, 8:28  doi:10.1186/1479-5868-8-28

Published: 11 April 2011

Abstract

Background

There is a high prevalence of overweight and obesity in persons with severe mental disorders and this has serious implications on the short and long term health outcomes of these patients. The aim of this review was to evaluate the effectiveness of lifestyle interventions targeting physical activity and eating habits in persons with severe mental disorders. Special attention was given if any of the included studies in the review also examined the cost-effectiveness of these health promotion interventions.

Methods

A systematic search through the electronic databases Medline, Web of Science, CINAHL and Cohrane Library was conducted, and by hand-searching the reference lists of the retrieved articles from the electronic databases. Studies were included if they examined effectiveness and/or cost-effectiveness of lifestyle interventions targeting physical activity and eating habits in persons with severe mental disorders, with primary outcome changes in Body Mass Index and body weight.

Results

Fourteen studies met the inclusion criteria. Weight loss and Body Mass Index decrease were observed in intervention groups in 11 studies. The difference in weight change between intervention and control groups was statistically significant in nine studies. Differences in mean Body Mass Index between intervention and control groups were statistically significant in eight studies. Five studies reported improvements in quality of life and general health. In none of the studies cost-effectiveness of lifestyle interventions was examined.

Conclusion

Further research on both effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of lifestyle interventions targeting physical activity and eating habits in persons with severe mental disorders is required to assist in the development of new health promotion interventions in this population.