Mental Contrasting with Implementation Intentions (MCII) as a Stand-Alone Intervention to Increase Exercise in People with Mental Health Challenges

Site PI: Hannah Brown

In collaboration with Corinne Cather, PhD, our co-investigator from Massachusetts General Hospital, we aim to investigate whether the MCII intervention can help patients with a serious mental illness exercise more. We would also like to investigate its effect on exercise motivation, exercise self-efficacy, goal difficulty and confidence, quality of life, and depressive symptoms. MCII stands for Mental Contrasting with Implementation Intentions. This intervention involves goal setting and planning through discussion with study staff as well as the completion of handouts and forms.

At the end of the visit, participants schedule two follow up visits to examine the short-term and long-term effects of MCII. The first visit is scheduled for a week later, while the second will be scheduled for two months later. These are the only times we ask participants to come in for the study. At these visits, we present several questionnaires about exercise and health as well as personal experiences with the MCII intervention. Research staff can assist participants in completing these questionnaires.

We are interested in increasing exercise in this population because premature mortality from preventable and treatable medical conditions is a major health issue. Exercise is a valuable solution, one that leads to both physical and mental health improvements for people with serious mental illnesses. This is a novel approach that aims to address barriers such as feasibility and motivation.