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Title: An evaluation of health education groups for adults with a diagnosis of schizophrenia
Author: Bradshaw, Timothy
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2007
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Aim: This thesis describes a study undertaken to investigate the effect, feasibility and acceptability of health education groups for adults with a diagnosis of schizophrenia. Background: Common medical problems are more prevalent in this client group. Life expectancy is significantly reduced with the majority of deaths resulting from natural and preventable causes. Unhealthy lifestyles have been implicated in this excess mortality. However, few studies have evaluated the outcomes of health education. Methods: Guided by the UK Medical Research Councils framework for the evaluation of complex health care interventions, health education literature was used to model a group intervention programme. A preliminary investigation was conducted using a single group pre-test post-test design. Data regarding the effect of the intervention on participants’ lifestyles were collected at interview pre, post and six months after the health education groups. Feasibility was assessed through monitoring patterns of referral and attendance. Data regarding acceptability were collected by conducting focus groups with participants who attended the health education groups and mental health practitioners who co-facilitated them. Results: 45 participants were offered the intervention. 87% (n=39) attended the health education groups. Post-intervention results showed a significant increase in levels of exercise (Z = -2.77, p = 0.006) and the number of portions of fruit and vegetables consumed (t = -5.38, p =<0.001). Changes remained significant for both exercise (Z = -2.31, p = 0.021) and fruit and vegetable intake (t = -3.77, p = 0.002) at follow up and effect sizes were large. Small but non significant changes were shown in the amount of fried food eaten (F = 4.70, df = 2, p = 0.09) and the number of cigarettes smoked per day (F = 0.83, df = 2, p =0.66). The feasibility of the intervention was good and results of focus groups indicated that health education delivered in a group format was acceptable to the participants of the study. Conclusions: Health education delivered according to the protocol developed in this study may help adults with schizophrenia to develop healthier lifestyles. However, due to methodological limitations only speculative conclusions can be made regarding the causality of effect. Further more rigorous investigation of the efficacy of the intervention in a larger scale randomised controlled trial is indicated.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Schizophrenia ; Health education