Psychoeducational intervention focused on healthy living improves psychopathological severity and lifestyle quality in psychiatric patients: preliminary findings from a controlled study.
Bersani FS., Biondi M., Coviello M., Fagiolini A., Majorana M., Minichino A., Rusconi AC., Vergnani L., Vicinanza R., Coccanari De' Fornari MA.
BACKGROUND: Individuals with psychiatric disorders incur an increased risk of morbidity and mortality, with higher prevalence of cardio-metabolic risk factors s largely contributing to a significant reduction in life expectancy. OBJECTIVES: The aim of the present study was at evaluating the clinical effectiveness of an educational intervention targeting lifestyle habits in patients with mood and psychotic disorders. METHODS: Patients (n = 32) were randomly assigned to receive, in addition to the pharmacological treatment, either five sessions of group psychoeducation focused on healthy lifestyle or five sessions of a control group therapy. RESULTS: Both psychopathological severity (i.e. the brief psychiatric rating scale) and lifestyle quality (i.e. physical activity, sleep quality and adherence to the Mediterranean diet) improved significantly over time in patients who underwent specific psychoeducational sessions but not in the controls. CONCLUSIONS: These findings add to the accumulating evidence that educational interventions focused on lifestyle habits can ameliorate general and mental health in patients with psychiatric disorders and suggest that educational programs represent an effective non-pharmacological intervention to manage drug-induced cardiometabolic disturbances.