Peer support for physical health improvement: recovering ‘stolen years’?

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Lucy Simons discusses whether peer support interventions can help to provide physical health improvements for people living with severe mental illness.

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Lifestyle changes for cognition and dementia: better than a new drug?

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Should all molecular research institutes looking at neurodegenerative diseases be replaced by parks, playgrounds and cycle paths? Mark Horowitz highlights a recent systematic review of modifiable risk factors associated with cognition and dementia, which suggests that from a public health perspective, there may be some sense in this idea.

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Cognitive dissonance and positive health behaviours: a systematic review shows dissonance-based interventions can be successful

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Most of us have heard of cognitive dissonance although the term is often used incorrectly. I’m sure when you find out you thought you were using it correctly but weren’t, you’ll feel bad. Cognitive dissonance refers to a state of psychological discomfort that arises from conflicting attitudes or beliefs. For example you may have a [read the full story…]

Do interventions proven to improve cardiovascular disease outcomes work for individuals with severe mental illness?

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Individuals with severe mental illness (SMI) have shortened life expectancies compared to the general population. This is partly down to higher rates of chronic physical illness. Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death among patients using mental health services. It is assumed that interventions used to reduce CVD are similarly effective in patients with [read the full story…]

Behavioural weight-loss interventions can be effective for people with serious mental illness, says new RCT

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People with serious mental illness have mortality rates 2-3 times as high as the general population. The primary cause of death is cardiovascular disease, which in turn is due to an extremely high prevalence of obesity (twice that of the overall population). Physical inactivity, unhealthy diets, and weight gain from psychotropic medication are all factors [read the full story…]