DOI: 10.1111/eip.13508 ISSN: 1751-7885

Implementation of a lifestyle and life‐skills intervention to prevent weight‐gain and cardiometabolic abnormalities in young people with first‐episode psychosis as part of routine care: The Keeping the Body in Mind program

Jackie Curtis, Scott B. Teasdale, Rachel Morell, Prarthna Wadhwa, Andrew Watkins, Oscar Lederman, Catherine O'Donnell, Hamish Fibbins, Philip B. Ward
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pshychiatric Mental Health



In 2013, a cluster‐controlled pilot study found the 12‐week Keeping the Body in Mind (KBIM) lifestyle and life skills intervention was able to prevent weight gain in a small sample of youth experiencing first‐episode psychosis (FEP) with fewer than 4 weeks of antipsychotic exposure. This study aims to evaluate the effectiveness of KBIM as routine care on anthropometry and metabolic biochemistry in a larger sample of youth with FEP across three community mental health services.


This retrospective chart audit was conducted on youth with FEP, prescribed a therapeutic dose of antipsychotic medication, and who engaged with KBIM between 2015 and 2019. Primary outcomes were weight and waist circumference. Secondary outcomes were blood pressure, blood glucose, and blood lipids. Outcomes were collected in at baseline and at 12 weeks. Data on program engagement were obtained from the participant's medical file.


One‐hundred and eighty‐two people met inclusion criteria, and up to 134 people had baseline and 12‐week data on one or more outcome. Mean number of sessions attended was 11.1 (SD = 7.3). Increases in weight and waist circumference were limited to 1.5 kg (SD = 5.3, t(133) = 3.2, p = .002) and 0.7 cm (SD = 5.8, t(109) = 1.2, p = .23) respectively. Eighty‐one percent of participants did not experience clinically significant weight gain (>7% of baseline weight). There were no significant changes in blood pressure or metabolic biochemistry.


The prevention of substantial gains in weight and waist circumference observed in the initial pilot study was maintained with implementation of KBIM as part of routine clinical care for youth with FEP.

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