A study led by the Welch Center’s Gail Daumit, MD, MHS, and published in the New England Journal of Medicine on March 21st has demonstrated that counseling and regular exercise classes, people with serious mental illness can make healthy behavioral changes and achieve significant weight loss. Furthermore, the amount of weight lost by people with serious mental illness in this study was similar to that in studies in the general population that specifically excluded them.
Dr. Daumit’s findings are results from her ACHIEVE Study (Randomized Trial of Achieving Health Lifestyles in Psychiatric Rehabilitation), sponsored by the National Institute of Mental Health. Dr. Daumit presented her findings at the American Heart Association Epidemiology and Prevention/ Nutrition, Physical Activity and Metabolism Scientific Sessions in New Orleans on the same day as the New England Journal of Medicine published the research. Other Welch Center faculty members who contributed to the research are Nae-Yuh Wang, PhD, Rosa Crum, MD, MHS, Jeanne Charleston, RN, BS, Eliseo Guallar, MD, DrPH, and Larry Appel, MD, MPH.
The National Institute of Mental Health’s website has posted a press release on the study that includes a brief video interview with Dr. Daumit on her research results. Johns Hopkins Medicine has also issued a press release on these important findings. Other online medical resources that have reported the study results include MedPage Today, which reports medical news that has been peer-reviewed by the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine, the American Psychiatric Association’s Psychiatric News Alert and PsychCentral.