To evaluate a new integrated weight management and fitness service for long-stay psychiatric patients who were obese or overweight with physical health risks. Body size and fitness were measured before and after each 10- to 12-week programme.
The number of patients referred to the programme was 145; 102 were accepted, 95 started a programme and 46 completed it. Analysis was by intention-to-treat. There were significant reductions in weight (P=0.001), body mass index (BMI, P=0.001) and waist size (P=0.001), and considerable improvements in hand strength (left hand, P=0.03; right hand, P=0.015), flexibility (P=0.022), lung function (P=0.001) and aerobic capacity (P=0.001).
An integrated programme of weight management and fitness is effective in reducing body weight and waist size, and in improving physical fitness in long-stay psychiatric patients. The long-term effect on patient's health and fitness needs to be monitored and strategies are needed to reduce patient withdrawal.
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