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Effective lifestyle interventions to improve type II diabetes self-management for those with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder: a systematic review

Adriana Cimo1, Erene Stergiopoulos1, Chiachen Cheng12, Sarah Bonato3 and Carolyn S Dewa14*

Author Affiliations

1 Centre for Research on Employment and Workplace Health, Centre for Addition and Mental Health, 455 Spadina, Suite 300, Toronto, Ontario M5S 2G8, Canada

2 Canadian Mental Health Association, Clinic & Resource Centre, 272 Park Avenue, Thunder Bay, P7B 1C5, Canada

3 Library Services, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, 33 Russell Street, Toronto, M5S 2S1, Canada

4 Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto, 250 College Street, Toronto, M5T 1R8, Canada

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BMC Psychiatry 2012, 12:24  doi:10.1186/1471-244X-12-24

Published: 23 March 2012



The prevalence of type II diabetes among individuals suffering from schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorders is more than double that of the general population. By 2005, North American professional medical associations of Psychiatry, Diabetes, and Endocrinology responded by recommending continuous metabolic monitoring for this population to control complications from obesity and diabetes. However, these recommendations do not identify the types of effective treatment for people with schizophrenia who have type II diabetes. To fill this gap, this systematic evidence review identifies effective lifestyle interventions that enhance quality care in individuals who are suffering from type II diabetes and schizophrenia or other schizoaffective disorders.


A systematic search from Medline, CINAHL, PsycINFO, and ISI Web of Science was conducted. Of the 1810 unique papers that were retrieved, four met the inclusion/exclusion criteria and were analyzed.


The results indicate that diabetes education is effective when it incorporates diet and exercise components, while using a design that addresses challenges such as cognition, motivation, and weight gain that may result from antipsychotics.


This paper begins to point to effective interventions that will improve type II diabetes management for people with schizophrenia or other schizoaffective disorders.