Evaluating the effectiveness of a healthy lifestyle clinician in addressing the chronic disease risk behaviours of community mental health clients: Study protocol for a randomised controlled trial

Caitlin Fehily, Kate Bartlem, John Wiggers, Paula Wye, Richard Clancy, David Castle, Sonia Wutzke, Chris Rissel, Andrew Wilson, Paul McCombie, Fionna Murphy, Jenny Bowman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: People with a mental illness experience a greater morbidity and mortality from chronic diseases relative to the general population. A higher prevalence of modifiable health risk behaviours such as smoking, poor nutrition, physical inactivity and harmful alcohol consumption contribute substantially to this disparity. Despite clinical practice guidelines recommending that mental health services routinely provide care to address these risk behaviours, the provision of such care is consistently reported to be low internationally and in Australia. This protocol describes a randomised controlled trial that aims to assess the effectiveness of allocating a clinician within a community mental health service to the specific role of providing assessment, advice and referral for clients' chronic disease risk behaviours. Methods/design: Approximately 540 clients of one community mental health service will be randomised to receive either usual care for chronic disease risks provided in routine consultations or usual care plus an additional face-to-face consultation and follow-up telephone call with a 'healthy lifestyle clinician'. The clinician will assess clients' chronic disease risk behaviours, provide advice to change behaviours, and refer at-risk clients to free telephone coaching services (New South Wales (NSW) Quitline and NSW Get Healthy Information and Coaching Service) for specialist behaviour change care. The primary outcomes, regarding referral to and client uptake of the telephone services, will be obtained from the respective services. Telephone interviews of clients at baseline and at 1 and 6 months post baseline follow-ups will assess secondary outcomes: receipt of any assessment, advice and referral from the mental health service; satisfaction with the receipt of such care; satisfaction with the receipt of any care provided by the telephone services; interest and confidence in and perceived importance of changing risk behaviours; and risk behaviour status. Discussion: This study will add to the limited literature regarding effective strategies to address chronic disease prevention among the higher risk population of community mental health clients. The results will inform the development of future policies and service delivery initiatives to address the high prevalence of chronic disease risk behaviours among people with a mental illness.

Original languageEnglish
Article number276
Number of pages10
JournalTrials
Volume18
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2017
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Alcohol
  • Community mental health
  • Mental health
  • Mental health services
  • Nutrition
  • Physical activity
  • Physical health
  • Smoking

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