Physical health promotion in consumer run organizations
There are large disparities in physical health within psychiatric population. These disparities are made greater by the poor health behaviors of the psychiatric population in general. Change in health behaviors is aided by social support, a resource common within consumer run organizations (CROs). This study both investigated the health of people with psychiatric disabilities in Kansas and examined CROs to determine their organizational and setting level support for physical activity and eating a healthy diet. Collection of data was primarily through semi-structured interviews. Interviews were conducted with two samples, attendees of the 2008 Recovery Conference, and members and staff of 16 CROs in Kansas. Consistent with previous literature, the participants in this study were found to be in much poorer health than the general population. The dietary behaviors of participants included high consumption of foods with low nutritional value and low consumption of foods high in nutritional value. In general, the organization and setting characteristics of CROs provided little support for either healthy eating a healthy diet or physical activity. Discussion focused on the potential for CROs to enhance healthy eating and physical activity through setting changes.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Wichita State University, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Dept. of Psychology