The evaluation of a telephonic wellness coaching intervention for weight reduction and wellness improvement in a community-based cohort of persons with serious mental illness

J Nerv Ment Dis. 2013 Nov;201(11):977-86. doi: 10.1097/NMD.0000000000000036.


Obesity and metabolic disturbances frequently occur in individuals with psychiatric disorders. This study evaluates a telephonically delivered lifestyle coaching intervention aimed at weight reduction and wellness improvement in psychiatric outpatients. A cohort of 761 participants was prospectively followed up for a period of 12 months. Lifestyle coaching was administered telephonically on a weekly basis for the first 3 months and monthly thereafter. During the study period, there was a significant reduction in weight and waist circumference as well as a significant increase in general health in the completer group. A total of 46% of the participants lost 5% or more of their baseline weight. Significant predictors of attrition at baseline were the presence of metabolic syndrome, younger age, chronic illness, and the diagnosis of a mood disorder. Dropout was significantly less in those participants who received support from a nominated caregiver. Telephonic lifestyle coaching is feasible in this population.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Health Promotion / methods*
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / epidemiology
  • Mental Disorders / psychology
  • Mental Disorders / therapy*
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Residence Characteristics*
  • Severity of Illness Index*
  • Telemedicine / methods*
  • Weight Loss* / physiology
  • Young Adult