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A Participatory Approach to Physical Activity Among People with Severe and Persistent Mental Illness

Hoffmann, Kamden (2013) A Participatory Approach to Physical Activity Among People with Severe and Persistent Mental Illness. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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People with severe and persistent mental illness (SPMI) in the U.S. have rates of co-occurring chronic medical illnesses two to three times higher than the general population and a corresponding reduction in life expectancy of 25 years. People with SPMI in the community setting are a vulnerable population, subject to self- and perceived stigma that prevent them from seeking adequate medical care. A majority of early mortality among people with SPMI is related to preventable causes such as cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. Involvement in physical activity has shown to improve the mental and physical health of people with SPMI.
The goal of this dissertation is to explore challenges and prospects in the development of a tailored physical activity intervention for people with SPMI and in a community setting. The data is organized into three manuscripts predicated on an established community-academic partnership that led to the development, design, implementation and evaluation of the intervention through a Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR) approach. Manuscript one is a literature review that examines what is known regarding community-based physical activity interventions and outcomes and mental and physical health outcomes among people with SPMI, identifying critical gaps in the literature. Manuscript two studies the perceived benefits and barriers to physical activity among people with SPMI in the community setting where the intervention took place to provide qualitative evidence for the intervention design. Manuscript three focuses on the community-academic partnership and the development and implementation of a feasibility study focused on the effect of physical activity on the physical and mental health outcomes among people with SPMI in this community setting.
This dissertation brings an innovative approach to recovery in adjunct to pharmaceutical treatments or cognitive approaches. It provides a platform to understand what is required to carry out a community-based intervention with rigor and collaboration. The public health significance of this dissertation is presented in the findings of this research, which suggest that it is paramount to understand the needs of the population, while recognizing that tailoring a physical activity intervention based on these needs to improve the physical and mental health among this vulnerable population has challenges and opportunities for collaboration. Future research, programs, and policy should consider these findings to improve the well-being of people living with SPMI in the U.S. and globally.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Hoffmann, Kamdenkdh30@pitt.eduKDH30
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairBurke, Jessicajgburke@pitt.eduJGBURKE
Committee MemberRicci, Edmundemricci@pitt.eduEMRICCI
Committee MemberReynolds, CharlesReynoldsCF@upmc.eduCHIPR
Committee MemberJakicic, Johnjjakicic@pitt.eduJJAKICIC
Committee MemberCluss,
Committee MemberWalnoha,
Date: 27 September 2013
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 3 June 2013
Approval Date: 27 September 2013
Submission Date: 17 May 2013
Access Restriction: 5 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 5 years.
Number of Pages: 179
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Behavioral and Community Health Sciences
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Community Based Participatory Research Physical Activity Severe and Persistent Mental Illness
Date Deposited: 27 Sep 2013 15:19
Last Modified: 01 Jul 2018 05:15


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