Virtual Group Fitness and Nutrition Intervention:

Testing the feasibility and effectiveness of an intervention for individuals with schizophrenia spectrum illnesses

Individuals with schizophrenia spectrum disorders (SSD) face high rates of cardiovascular disease due to various illness, treatment and lifestyle factors. For many individuals, lack of access to nutrition education and exercise spaces, low social support for diet and exercise goals, and adverse social determinants of health make it challenging to implement lasting lifestyle behavioral changes. These barriers have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 Pandemic. This study offers a virtual lifestyle intervention designed to increase social support and provides virtual access to physical fitness and nutrition education using a wait-list control design, so that all participants will receive the intervention.

PROJECT STATUS

AIMS

The study has the primary aim of assessing the feasibility and tolerability of a lifestyle behavioral intervention in individuals with Schizophrenia Spectrum Illnesses.

METHODS

This pilot study is being conducted in collaboration with colleagues at Boston Medical Center. All participants will participate in an 11-week non-intervention period and an 11-week intervention period in this randomized, open, two-period cross-over trial.  During the intervention period, participants will attend a weekly, virtual 30-minute group fitness class followed by a virtual 45-minute nutrition education class. To track progress, participants will complete assessments at week 11,  week 22, and week 33.

COE PROJECT STAFF

Abigail Donovan, MD

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR

Corinne Cather, PhD

CO-INVESTIGATOR

Lisa LeFeber, BA

CLINICAL RESEARCH COORDINATOR

Funding

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