Physical Health Parameters: Comparison of People with Severe Mental Illness with the General Population

By Northey, Alyce; Barnett, Fiona | British Journal of Occupational Therapy, February 2012 | Go to article overview

Physical Health Parameters: Comparison of People with Severe Mental Illness with the General Population


Northey, Alyce, Barnett, Fiona, British Journal of Occupational Therapy


Introduction

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), in 2003 there were 450 million people with mental illness, over 150 million people with depression, nearly 1 million people committing suicide each year, 25 million people with schizophrenia, and more than 90 million with alcohol or drug use disorders (WHO 2003). The literature defines severe mental illness (SMI) as '... severe in degree and persistent in duration, which causes a substantially diminished level of functioning in the primary aspects of daily living ...' (Council of Australian Governments Mental Health Group--Queensland 2006, pi) and includes schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, affective, anxiety and substance dependence disorders, personality disorders and depression.

Weight gain and obesity are commonly associated with SMI and can lead to chronic physical conditions, including diabetes, stroke, heart disease, some cancers and osteoarthritis (Brown et al 2006). Physical exercise can help to reduce morbidity and mortality from these chronic conditions (Schmitz et al 2004); it can also improve physical health measures, such as weight, endurance, cardiovascular fitness and body fat percentage (Skrinar et al 2005). Regular exercise in a supportive environment is believed to improve general wellbeing and mental health in people with SMI (Schmitz et al 2004, Skrinar et al 2005). Participation in regular physical exercise is seen as the best single predictor of long-term weight loss (Blair et al 1996), encouraging researchers and health professionals to develop appropriate physical activity programmes for people with SMI.

The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) (WHO 2009) determines health and wellbeing as a balance of individual, body, societal and environmental factors. The ICF defines impairments as problems in body functions and structure, leading to activity limitations that contribute to participation restrictions in life. This holistic approach is aligned with occupational therapy philosophy, providing guidelines by which to explore the impact that illness and disability have on an individual. Physiological limitations, such as chronic conditions, can have an impact on functional capacity and limit an individual's ability to complete activities of daily living (ADL) (WHO 2009).

Poor physical health among people with SMI has been identified in national and international literature (Brown et al 2006, Roick et al 2007, Smith et al 2007). Compared with the general population, people with SMI have a greater incidence of physical illnesses. However, it is unclear whether this disparity exists in North Queensland, Australia. This study hypothesised that the physical health parameters and physical activity levels of people with SMI in North Queensland would be different to people from the general population.

The specific objectives of the study were:

1. To determine the physical health parameters and physical activity levels of people with SMI

2. To determine the physical health parameters and physical activity levels of the general population.

Method

Participants

Twenty participants from the general population (male = 8; female = 12) and 21 participants with SMI (male = 10; female = 11) participated in the study (Table 1). Nineteen from the 20 participants of the general population and 9 from the 21 participants with SMI were employed. Participants from the general population were recruited through distributing an email within the local university system and through community shop owners known to the researcher. Participants currently experiencing a mental illness were recruited through support workers from two local community mental health organisations, who provided support with recruitment.

Participants were required to be 18 years or older and be able to provide informed consent. Participants currently experiencing a mental illness had to have a current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition (DSM-IV) (American Psychiatric Association 1994) diagnosis of one of the following: schizophrenia, manic depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, affective, anxiety and substance dependence disorders, personality disorders, psychosis, schizoaffective disorder or depression, and be involved with either mental health organisation. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Physical Health Parameters: Comparison of People with Severe Mental Illness with the General Population
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.