Simple. Prescriptive. Trackable.
Those characteristics can make a wellness program a powerful clinical tool and help increase patient adherence, Saundra Jain, MA, PsyD, LPC, told attendees at the Psych Congress 1-Day Regional Meeting in Milwaukee.
The traits guided the development of the WILD (Wellness Interventions for Life’s Demands) 5 Wellness Program, by Dr. Jain and her husband, Rakesh Jain, MD, MPH. The 5 elements of the program are exercise, mindfulness, sleep, social connectedness and nutrition.
“We recommend these things but adherence has never been good,” she told the audience of more than 100 health care practitioners.
Giving patients specific instructions and tools in all 5 areas – packaged in a 30-day program – and tracking their progress could make a difference in adherence rates, Dr. Jain said in her presentation “Walk on the WILD Side: In Pursuit of Mental Wellness.”
She presented one set of data related to each element to show how it can improve wellness, and encouraged the clinicians to give printed copies to patients. They included data showing how socialization correlates with longevity, insomnia correlates with physical and mental health conditions, and meditation changes brain structure.
“I want you to take that data and use it to convince your patients this is important,” she said. “You don’t just want to give that pat on the back as they’re walking out, (saying) ‘Don’t forget to exercise.'”
Dr. Jain, a practicing clinician and adjunct clinical affiliate at University of Texas at Austin, School of Nursing, also presented data on how the program has helped a group of 36 patients in areas such as depression, anxiety, emotional eating and sleep. Scores improved in each area, and within subgroups of patients who either take or don’t take psychotropic drugs.
Data analysis is currently under way for another cohort, of 100 people, and will be presented at the U.S. Psychiatric & Mental Health Congress in October. A chronic pain population and measures looking at functionality, cognition, and disability have been added.
“I think we’re going to find some really interesting things to share with you at the fall meeting,” Dr. Jain said.
That meeting is being held Oct. 21-24 in San Antonio, Texas.
– Terri Airov
Walk on the WILD Side: In Pursuit of Mental Wellness. Presented at: Psych Congress 1-Day Regional Meeting; June 11, 2016.