Att främja förändrad livsstil bland personer med psykiskt funktionshinder : studier av metabola och psykologiska effekter, upplevd mening och hälsa

Sammanfattning: The overall aim of this thesis is to investigate if the somatic comorbidity and increased mortality among persons with psychiatric disability (residents in supported housing facilities) can be influenced. The thesis comprises four papers. Paper I describes the lived experience of health and body. Papers II and III examine the effects of a lifestyle programme on physiological markers (II) and on psychological and quality of life parameters (III). Paper (IV) illustrates the meaning of participating in a life style programme. The data in Papers I and IV comprises narrative interviews with residents (n=11). The studies in Papers II and III are focused on residents and were carried out with a randomized design. The randomization was performed on a group level (supported housing facility). The 12 month intervention consisted of study circles with a theoretical and practical application of dietary information and physical activity for two hours, on a twice weekly basis under the supervision of a study circle leader. The controls were offered an aesthetic study circle and met once a week. The data in Paper II comprises physiological quantitative data from both residents (n=41) and staff (n=41) and in Paper III questionnaires on symptoms and quality of life completed only by residents (n=41). The data was analysed with Qualitative description (I), Phenomenological-hermeneutics (IV), and for papers II and III relevant statistical calculations were used. Health is described in paper I as “having a life as others have” and discloses the losses of important life domains (family, work, security) and the experiences of being deviant and stigmatized. Health is described as “absence of psychological and physical problems” and its hampering effects on quality of life and self-esteem. Health is understood as a phenomenon that could “be influenced by one self”, and there is an insight that health is manageable. Participating in a life style intervention (paper II) meant a significant improvement in risk factors for metabolic syndrome among the residents in comparison with controls. No differences were seen on weight, BMI and improved physical capacity. In paper III a significant positive increase in the Sense of Coherence compared to controls was seen. However no effect was seen on quality of life, psychosocial function or on reduction of symptoms in comparison with controls. Participating in a lifestyle intervention can be understood as the gaining of insights that health can be improved and that the daily life is partly given a changed content (paper II). The participation is also described as meaning an increased sense of closeness and equality in relation to the staff and sometimes a painful insight of their life situation. Participating is also described as entailing a hope that one’s life situation can be affected. In summary this thesis shows that there is some possibility of influencing the physical health (reduced risk of metabolic syndrome) among persons with psychiatric disability by participating in a 12 month intervention programme. The intervention does not show any effects on measures such as quality of life, psychosocial function and presence of symptoms. However, the participants describe that the participation had a meaning in a number of respects. This is a finding that is confirmed by the positive change in sense of coherence. The need to develop preventive care for persons with psychiatric disability and the importance of monitoring the treatment with neuroleptics and its side effects on physical health is an important clinical implication. Furthermore the importance of the responsibility of the care staff is emphasized as well as the importance of supporting a change in lifestyle.