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Review: benefits of provision of general physical health advice for people with serious mental illness unclear

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Does general physical health advice to people with serious mental illness reduce morbidity and mortality, and improve or maintain quality of life (QOL)?


The primary outcomes for the review were physical health awareness and physical health behaviour, and secondary outcomes included physical health, QOL, adverse effects and service use.



Systematic review and meta analysis.

Data sources

Cochrane Schizophrenia Group Trials Register (November 2009) which is based on regular searches of CINAHL, EMBASE, MEDLINE and PsychINFO.

Study selection and analysis

Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) focusing on assessing the effects of general physical health advice for people with severe mental illness (eg, schizophrenia, schizophrenia-like disorders, bipolar disorder or serious affective disorder). Trials had to include mainly adults (aged 18–65 years old). Studies in people with dementia, personality disorder, mental retardation or with substance abuse alone were not eligible.

Main results

Six studies were included which randomised 1033 people. In two studies, participants received six semistructured health promotion sessions which followed the Lilly ‘Meaningful Day’ manual. One study involved a year-long physical health educational programme including an intensive 12-week programme with less intensive …

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  • Source of funding There were no external sources of support for the review; internal sources of support included the National Institute of Health research and other sources.


  • Competing interests None.

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