, Volume 1, Issue 3, pp 453-460
Date: 02 Jun 2011

Translation of the diabetes prevention program into a community mental health organization for individuals with severe mental illness: a case study

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ABSTRACT

Individuals with severe mental illness (SMI) have significant health disparities. Wellness services embedded in community mental health organizations could lessen these disparities. This case study illustrates the integration of the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) lifestyle intervention into a community mental health organization. The Diffusion of Innovations Theory was used as a model for integration, which included a collaboration between researchers and the organization and qualitative work, culminating in a small pilot of the DPP led by peer specialists to test the feasibility of the DPP in this setting. Fourteen individuals with SMI participated in the 19-week intervention. Three dropped out, but the remaining 11 demonstrated 92% attendance. Weight loss was minimal, but the participants reported benefit and showed continued interest in the intervention. The use of a peer-led DPP in a community mental health organization is feasible and warrants further investigation to demonstrate efficacy.

Implications

Practice: This manuscript describes information for mental health practitioners on integrating wellness into their settings.
Policy: May inform policy research for mental health organizations to increase funding for wellness programs.
Research: Can benefit from learning ways to collaborate with community mental health organizations.