HELPER Healthy Living and Prevention of Early Relapse. Stream: Healthy living intervention focusing on diet and exercise

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report

Abstract

Life expectancy for people with psychosis is reduced by up to 15 years compared to other members of the general population. Nearly two thirds of premature deaths result from natural and possibly preventable causes such as cardiovascular disease. Possibly the biggest causative factor leading to this increase in physical health problems is the unhealthy lifestyles which many people with psychosis have been shown to lead. Research shows that they eat diets which are lower in fibre and higher in saturated fats, they are more than twice as likely to smoke and very few take the recommended amounts of daily exercise in order to stay healthy. Unhealthy lifestyles may also be compounded by the effecs of anti−psychotic medication which nearly all patients are required to take. These medications have been shown often to result in significant weight gain and an increase in diabetes. There is therefore an urgent need to develop healthy living interventions that are acceptable to people with psychosis and are effective in helping them to eat healthier diets, take more exercise and avoid being over weight. The ideal time to introduce such an intervention would be following the first episode of psychosis in order to prevent health problems developing. We aim to develop a healthy living intervention that will be acceptable to young people with first episode psychosis and to health professionals who may be asked to deliver it. We will then conduct an exploratory randomised controlled trial to test the efficacy of the intervention in helping participants to develop healthier lifestyles.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherNational Institute for Health Research
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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