Open access Rationale, component description and pilot evaluation of a physical health promotion measure for people with mental disorders across Europe

Prisca Weiser, Reinhold Kilian, David McDaid, Loretta Berti, Lorenzo Burti, Peter Hjorth, Katarzyna Lech, Köksal Alptekin, Elena Bonfioli, Mojca Dernovsek, Eva Dragomirecka, Marion Freidl, Fabian Friedrich, Aneta Genova, Arunas Germanavicius, Povl Munk-Jorgensen, Ramona Lucas, Roxana Marginean, Maya Mladenova, A-La Park, Petronela Paziuc, Stefan Priebe, Katarzyna Prot-Klinger, Halis Ulas, Carolin Von Gottberg, Johannes Wancata, Thomas Becker (2014)

Journal of Community Medicine & Health Education 4 298


Available online: 15 July 2014

Introduction: The HELPS project aimed at developing a toolkit for the promotion of physical health in people with mental disorders to reduce the substantial excess morbidity and mortality in the target group. Methods: The HELPS toolkit was developed by means of national and international literature reviews, Delphi rounds with mental health experts and focus groups with mental health experts and patients/ residents in 14 European countries. The toolkit was translated into the languages of all participating countries, and usability of toolkit modules was tested. Results: The toolkit consists of several modules addressing diverse somatic health problems, lifestyle, environment issues, patient goals and motivation for health-promotion measures. It aims at empowering people with mental illness and staff to identify physical health risks in their specific contexts and to select the most appropriate modules from a range of health promotion tools. Discussion: The HELPS project used an integrative approach to the development of simple tools for the target population and is available online in 14 European languages. Preliminary evidence suggests that the toolkit can be used in routine care settings and should be put to test in controlled trials to reveal its potential impact.