The purpose of this pilot study was to explore the feasibility of an intervention designed to facilitate partner support for lifestyle change among overweight and obese adults with serious mental illness (SMI). Fifteen adults with SMI enrolled in a lifestyle intervention at community mental health centers participated with a self-selected partner in an additional 12-week intervention component designed to facilitate social support for health behavior change. Participants reported that the program was useful, convenient, and helped them reach their goals. Approximately two-thirds (66%) of participants were below their baseline weight at follow-up, including 27% achieving clinically significant weight loss. Participants reported significant increases in partner support for exercise and use of persuasive social support strategies. Partner support interventions that promote exercising together and positive communication may be effective for helping individuals with SMI initiate and sustain health behavior change necessary to reduce cardiovascular risk.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price includes VAT for USA
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
This is the net price. Taxes to be calculated in checkout.
Aschbrenner, K., Carpenter-Song, E., Mueser, K., Kinney, A., Pratt, S., & Bartels, S. (2013). A qualitative study of social facilitators and barriers to health behavior change among persons with serious mental illness. Community Mental Health Journal, 49(2), 207–212. doi:10.1007/s10597-012-9552-8.
Aschbrenner, K., Mueser, K., Bartels, S., Carpenter-Song, E., Pratt, S., Barre, L. K., et al. (2015). The other 23 hours: A qualitative study of fitness provider perspectives on social support for health promotion for adults with mental illness. Health and Social Work, 40(2), 91–99. doi:10.1093/hsw/hlv006.
Aschbrenner, K., Mueser, K. T., Naslund, J. A., Gorin, A. A., Kinney, A., Daniels, L., et al. (2016). Feasibility study of increasing social support to enhance a healthy lifestyle intervention for individuals with serious mental illness. Journal of the Society for Social Work and Research, 7(2), 289–313. doi:10.1086/686486.
Balke, B. (1963). A simple field test for the assessment of physical fitness. REP 63–6. Report Civil Aeromedical Research Institute US, 1–8.
Barre, L. K., Ferron, J. C., Davis, K. E., & Whitley, R. (2011). Healthy eating in persons with serious mental illnesses: Understanding and barriers. Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal, 34(4), 304–310. doi:10.2975/34.4.2011.304.310.
Bartels, S. J., Pratt, S. I., Aschbrenner, K. A., Barre, L. K., Jue, K., Wolfe, R. S., et al. (2013). Clinically significant improved fitness and weight loss among overweight persons with serious mental illness. Psychiatric Services, 64(8), 729–736. doi:10.1176/appi.ps.003622012.
Bartels, S. J., Pratt, S. I., Aschbrenner, K. A., Barre, L. K., Naslund, J. A., Wolfe, R., et al. (2015). Pragmatic replication trial of health promotion coaching for obesity in serious mental illness and maintenance of outcomes. The American Journal of Psychiatry, 172(4), 344–352. doi:10.1176/appi.ajp.2014.14030357.
Beriault, K., Carpentier, A. C., Gagnon, C., Menard, J., Baillargeon, J. P., Ardilouze, J. L., et al. (2009). Reproducibility of the 6-minute walk test in obese adults. International Journal of Sports Medicine, 30(10), 725–727. doi:10.1055/s-0029-1231043.
Blackburn, G. (1995). Effect of degree of weight loss on health benefits. Obesity Research, 3(Suppl 2), 211s–216s.
Citation, A. (2015). Feasibility of popular m-health technologies for activity tracking among individuals with serious mental illness. Telemedicine Journal and e-Health, 21(3), 213–216. doi:10.1089/tmj.2014.0105.
Colton, C. W., & Manderscheid, R. W. (2006). Congruencies in increased mortality rates, years of potential life lost, and causes of death among public mental health clients in eight states. Preventing Chronic Disease, 3(2), A42.
Daumit, G. L., Dickerson, F. B., Wang, N. Y., Dalcin, A., Jerome, G. J., Anderson, C. A., et al. (2013). A behavioral weight-loss intervention in persons with serious mental illness. The New England Journal of Medicine, 368(17), 1594–1602. doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1214530.
Diabetes Prevention Program Research Group (2009). 10-year follow-up of diabetes incidence and weight loss in the Diabetes Prevention Program Outcomes Study. Lancet, 374(9702), 1677–1686, doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(09)61457-4.
Faulkner, G., Cohn, T., & Remington, G. (2006). Validation of a physical activity assessment tool for individuals with schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Research, 82(2–3), 225–231.
Fildes, A., Charlton, J., Rudisill, C., Littlejohns, P., Prevost, A. T., & Gulliford, M. C. (2015). Probability of an obese person attaining normal body weight: Cohort study using electronic health records. American Journal of Public Health, 105(9), e54–e59. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2015.302773.
Gorin, A. A., Powers, T. A., Koestner, R., Wing, R. R., & Raynor, H. A. (2014). Autonomy support, self-regulation, and weight loss. [Randomized Controlled Trial Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural]. Health Psychology, 33(4), 332–339, doi:10.1037/a0032586.
Gorin, A.A., Raynor, H.A., Fava, J., Maguire, K., Robichaud, E., Trautvetter, J., et al. (2013). Randomized controlled trial of a comprehensive home environment-focused weight-loss program for adults. [Randomized Controlled Trial Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural]. Health Psychology, 32(2), 128–137, doi:10.1037/a0026959.
Green, C. A., Yarborough, B. J., Leo, M. C., Yarborough, M. T., Stumbo, S. P., Janoff, S. L., et al. (2015). The STRIDE weight loss and lifestyle intervention for individuals taking antipsychotic medications: A randomized trial. The American Journal of Psychiatry, 172(1), 71–81. doi:10.1176/appi.ajp.2014.14020173.
Jackson, S. E., Steptoe, A., & Wardle, J. (2015). The influence of partner’s behavior on health behavior change: The English longitudinal study of ageing. JAMA Intern Med, doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.7554.
Larsson, U. E., & Reynisdottir, S. (2008). The six-minute walk test in outpatients with obesity: Reproducibility and known group validity. Physiotherapy Research International, 13(2), 84–93. doi:10.1002/pri.398.
Latkin, C. A., & Knowlton, A. R. (2015). Social network assessments and interventions for health behavior change: A critical review. Behavioral Medicine, 41(3), 90–97. doi:10.1080/08964289.2015.1034645.
Leon, A. C., Davis, L. L., & Kraemer, H. C. (2011). The Role and interpretation of pilot studies in clinical research. Journal of Psychiatric Research, 45(5), 626–629. doi:10.1016/j.jpsychires.2010.10.008.
Logue, E., Sutton, K., Jarjoura, D., Smucker, W., Baughman, K., & Capers, C. (2005). Transtheoretical model-chronic disease care for obesity in primary care: A randomized trial. Obesity Research, 13(5), 917–927. doi:10.1038/oby.2005.106.
Martire, L. M., Stephens, M. A., Mogle, J., Schulz, R., Brach, J., & Keefe, F. J. (2013). Daily spousal influence on physical activity in knee osteoarthritis. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 45(2), 213–223. doi:10.1007/s12160-012-9442-x.
McDonnell, K. K., Hollen, P. J., Heath, J., & Andrews, J. O. (2015). Recruiting family dyads facing thoracic cancer surgery: Challenges and lessons learned from a smoking cessation intervention. European Journal of Oncology Nursing. doi:10.1016/j.ejon.2015.08.006.
Mueser, K. T., & Glynn, S. M. (1999). Behavioral family therapy for psychiatric disorders. Oakland: New Harbinger Publications.
Mueser, K. T., Glynn, S. M., & Liberman, R. P. (1994). Behavioral family management for serious psychiatric illness. New Directions for Mental Health Services 62, 37–50.
Patten, C. A., Smith, C. M., Brockman, T. A., Decker, P. A., Hughes, C. A., Nadeau, A. M., et al. (2011). Support-person promotion of a smoking quitline: A randomized controlled trial. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 41(1), 17–23. doi:10.1016/j.amepre.2011.03.012.
Rasekaba, T., Lee, A. L., Naughton, M. T., Williams, T. J., & Holland, A. E. (2009). The six-minute walk test: A useful metric for the cardiopulmonary patient. Internal Medicine Journal, 39(8), 495–501. doi:10.1111/j.1445-5994.2008.01880.x.
Rohrbaugh, M. J., Shoham, V., Skoyen, J. A., Jensen, M., & Mehl, M. R. (2012). We-talk, communal coping, and cessation success in a couple-focused intervention for health-compromised smokers. Family Process, 51(1), 107–121. doi:10.1111/j.1545-5300.2012.01388.x.
Romo, L. K., & Dailey, R. M. (2014). Weighty dynamics: Exploring couples’ perceptions of post-weight-loss interaction. Health Communication, 29(2), 193–204. doi:10.1080/10410236.2012.736467.
Sallis, J. F., Grossman, R. M., Pinski, R. B., Patterson, T. L., & Nader, P. R. (1987). The development of scales to measure social support for diet and exercise behaviors. Preventive Medicine, 16(6), 825–836.
Scott, D., & Happell, B. (2011). The high prevalence of poor physical health and unhealthy lifestyle behaviours in individuals with severe mental illness. Issues in Mental Health Nursing, 32(9), 589–597. doi:10.3109/01612840.2011.569846.
Shiner, B., Whitley, R., Van Citters, A. D., Pratt, S. I., & Bartels, S. J. (2008). Learning what matters for patients: Qualitative evaluation of a health promotion program for those with serious mental illness. Health Promotion International, 23(3), 275–282. doi:10.1093/heapro/dan018.
Sorkin, D.H., Mavandadi, S., Rook, K.S., Biegler, K.A., Kilgore, D., Dow, E., et al. (2014). Dyadic collaboration in shared health behavior change: The effects of a randomized trial to test a lifestyle intervention for high-risk Latinas. [Randomized Controlled Trial Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural]. Health Psychology, 33(6), 566–575, doi:10.1037/hea0000063.
Stephens, M. A., Fekete, E. M., Franks, M. M., Rook, K. S., Druley, J. A., & Greene, K. (2009). Spouses’ use of pressure and persuasion to promote osteoarthritis patients’ medical adherence after orthopedic surgery. Health Psychology, 28(1), 48–55. doi:10.1037/a0012385.
Stephens, M. A., Franks, M. M., Rook, K. S., Iida, M., Hemphill, R. C., & Salem, J. K. (2013). Spouses’ attempts to regulate day-to-day dietary adherence among patients with type 2 diabetes. Health Psychology, 32(10), 1029–1037. doi:10.1037/a0030018.
Suetani, S., Whiteford, H. A., & McGrath, J. J. (2015). An urgent call to address the deadly consequences of serious mental disorders. JAMA Psychiatry, 72(12), 1166–1167. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2015.1981.
Sutton, K., Logue, E., Jarjoura, D., Baughman, K., Smucker, W., & Capers, C. (2003). Assessing dietary and exercise stage of change to optimize weight loss interventions. Obesity Research, 11(5), 641–652. doi:10.1038/oby.2003.92.
Van Citters, A. D., Pratt, S. I., Jue, K., Williams, G., Miller, P. T., Xie, H., et al. (2010). A pilot evaluation of the In SHAPE individualized health promotion intervention for adults with mental illness. Community Mental Health Journal, 46(6), 540–552. doi:10.1007/s10597-009-9272-x.
Walker, E. R., McGee, R. E., & Druss, B. G. (2015). Mortality in mental disorders and global disease burden implications: A systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA Psychiatry, 72(4), 334–341. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2014.2502.
Williams, G. C., Lynch, M. F., McGregor, H. A., Ryan, R. M., Sharp, D., & Deci, E. L. (2006). Validation of the” Important Other” climate questionnaire: Assessing autonomy support for health-related change. Families, Systems, and Health, 24(2), 179.
Williams, G. C., Niemiec, C. P., Patrick, H., Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2009). The importance of supporting autonomy and perceived competence in facilitating long-term tobacco abstinence. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 37(3), 315–324. doi:10.1007/s12160-009-9090-y.
Wing, R. R., & Jeffery, R. W. (1999). Benefits of recruiting participants with friends and increasing social support for weight loss and maintenance. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 67(1), 132–138.
Wing, R. R., Lang, W., Wadden, T. A., Safford, M., Knowler, W. C., Bertoni, A. G., et al. (2011). Benefits of modest weight loss in improving cardiovascular risk factors in overweight and obese individuals with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care, 34(7), 1481–1486. doi:10.2337/dc10-2415.
Yarborough, B. J., Stumbo, S. P., Yarborough, M. T., Young, T. J., & Green, C. A. (2015). Improving lifestyle interventions for people with serious mental illnesses: Qualitative results from the STRIDE study. Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal. doi:10.1037/prj0000151.
About this article
Cite this article
Aschbrenner, K.A., Mueser, K.T., Naslund, J.A. et al. Facilitating Partner Support for Lifestyle Change Among Adults with Serious Mental Illness: A Feasibility Pilot Study. Community Ment Health J 53, 394–404 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10597-017-0100-4
- Serious mental illness
- Lifestyle intervention
- Social support
- Weight loss