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Serious Mental Illness and Weight Management Interventions
Amy M. Kilbourne, Ph.D., M.P.H.; Tisha Deeghan, L.C.S.W.; Kenneth R. Jones, Ph.D.
Psychiatric Services 2013; doi: 10.1176/appi.ps.640902
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Dr. Kilbourne is affiliated with the Health Services Research and Development Service, Center for Clinical Management Research, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Ann Arbor, Ann Arbor, Michigan. Ms. Deeghan is with the Genesee Health System in Flint, Michigan. Dr. Jones is with the VHA National Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, Durham, North Carolina.

Copyright © 2013 by the American Psychiatric Association


To the Editor: Persons with serious mental illness are more likely than persons in the general population to be overweight, leading to increased risk of cardiovascular disease and premature mortality (1). Losing weight is especially challenging for this group, who face multiple barriers because of functional impairment, social isolation, and fragmentation of general medical and mental health care (1). In the August issue, Goldberg and colleagues (2) reported findings from a randomized controlled trial of a weight management program for veterans with serious mental illness initiated by the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). This study, which essentially yielded negative findings, nonetheless represents a growing and long overdue body of research focused on weight management interventions for persons with serious mental illness.

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Saint Louis  C: A battle plan to lose weight. New York Times, April 15, 2013. Available at well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/04/15/a-battle-plan-to-lose-weight/?ref=health
Goldberg  RW;  Reeves  G;  Tapscott  S  et al:  “MOVE!”: outcomes of a weight loss program modified for veterans with serious mental illness.  Psychiatric Services 64:737–744, 2013
[CrossRef] | [PubMed]
Kilbourne  AM;  Ignacio  RV;  Kim  HM  et al:  Are VA patients with serious mental illness dying younger? Psychiatric Services 60:589, 2009
[CrossRef] | [PubMed]
Banas  T: Working out to save lives: mental health patients find fitness training at Genesee County agency. Flint Journal, Sept 12, 2009. Available at www.mlive.com/news/flint/index.ssf/2009/09/working_out_to_save_lives_ment.html
Daumit  GL;  Dickerson  FB;  Wang  NY  et al:  A behavioral weight-loss intervention in persons with serious mental illness.  New England Journal of Medicine 368:1594–1602, 2013
[CrossRef] | [PubMed]
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