Pragmatic replication trial of health promotion coaching for obesity in serious mental illness and maintenance of outcomes

Stephen J. Bartels, Sarah I. Pratt, Kelly A. Aschbrenner, Laura K. Barre, John A. Naslund, Rosemarie Wolfe, Haiyi Xie, Gregory J. McHugo, Daniel E. Jimenez, Ken Jue, James Feldman, Bruce L. Bird

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

80 Scopus citations


Objective: Few studies targeting obesity in serious mental illness have reported clinically significant risk reduction, and none have been replicated in community settings or demonstrated sustained outcomes after intervention withdrawal. The authors sought to replicate positive health outcomes demonstrated in a previous randomized effectiveness study of the In SHAPE programacross urban communitymental health organizations serving an ethnically diverse population. Method: Persons with seriousmental illness and a bodymass index (BMI).25 receiving services in three communitymental health organizations were recruited and randomly assigned either to the 12-month In SHAPE program, which included membership in a public fitness club and weeklymeetings with a health promotion coach, or to fitness club membership alone. The primary outcome measures were weight and cardiorespiratory fitness (as measured with the 6-minute walk test), assessed at baseline and at 3, 6, 9, 12, and 18 months. Results: Participants (N=210) were ethnically diverse (46% were nonwhite), with a mean baseline BMI of 36.8 (SD=8.2). At 12 months, the In SHAPE group (N=104) had greater reduction in weight and improved fitness compared with the fitness club membership only group (N=106). Primary outcomes were maintained at 18 months. Approximately half of the In SHAPE group (51% at 12 months and 46% at 18 months) achieved clinically significant cardiovascular risk reduction (a weight loss $5% or an increase of .50 meters on the 6-minute walk test). Conclusions: This is the first replication study confirming the effectiveness of a health coaching intervention in achieving and sustaining clinically significant reductions in cardiovascular risk for overweight and obese persons with serious mental illness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)344-352
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Psychiatry
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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