Mental Contrasting with Implementation Intentions:

An intervention to increase exercise in people with mental health challenges.

Mental contrasting with implementation intentions (MCII) combines two simple and effective self-regulation strategies that have their roots in social psychology. When applied to exercise, MCII involves having individuals imagine positive outcomes associated with exercising more, the biggest obstacle to exercising more and achieving these positive outcomes, and practical solutions to the obstacle. Individuals create an “if-then” plan, which follows the structure “if (barrier), then (solution).” MCII has been effective at increasing exercise in the general population but has never been applied to those with mental health challenges as a stand-alone intervention.

PROJECT STATUS

AIMS

This study has two primary aims: 1) to evaluate the feasibility of MCII and 2) to evaluate its impact on exercise behavior.

METHODS

MCII will be delivered individually as a single-session intervention, with assessments occurring prior to the intervention and at two follow-up periods (one week and eight weeks after the intervention). The recruitment target is 20 participants with mental health challenges who are currently receiving treatment at Massachusetts General Hospital or Boston Medical Center.

COE PROJECT STAFF

Corinne Cather, PhD

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR

Katherine Kritikos, MPH

PROGRAM MANAGER

Hannah Skiest, BA

CLINICAL RESEARCH COORDINATOR

Kamila Bhiku, BS

CLINICAL RESEARCH COORDINATOR

Lisa LeFeber, BA

CLINICAL RESEARCH COORDINATOR

Additional Collaborators

Hannah Brown, MD; Julia Browne, PhD; Jada Gibbs, BA; Shayna Schor, BS.

Funding

Funding for this project was provided by the MGH COE/Massachusetts Department of Mental Health.