Implementation barriers and facilitators of an integrated multidisciplinary lifestyle enhancing treatment for inpatients with severe mental illness: the MULTI study IV

Jeroen Deenik*, Diederik E. Tenback, Erwin C. P. M. Tak, Olivier A. Blanson Henkemans, Simon Rosenbaum, Ingrid J. M. Hendriksen, Peter N. van Harten

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background Despite an increase in studies showing the efficacy of lifestyle interventions in improving the poor health outcomes for people with severe mental illness (SMI), routine implementation remains ad hoc. Recently, a multidisciplinary lifestyle enhancing treatment for inpatients with SMI (MULTI) was implemented as part of routine care at a long-term inpatient facility in the Netherlands, resulting in significant health improvements after 18 months. The current study aimed to identify barriers and facilitators of its implementation. Methods Determinants associated with the implementation of MULTI, related to the innovation, the users (patients, the healthcare professionals (HCPs)), and the organisational context, were assessed at the three wards that delivered MULTI. The evidence-based Measurement Instrument for Determinants of Innovations was used to assess determinants (29 items), each measured through a 5-point Likert scale and additional open-ended questions. We considered determinants to which >= 20% of the HCPs or patients responded negatively ("totally disagree/disagree", score <3) as barriers and to which >= 80% of HCPs or patients responded positively ("agree/totally agree", score > 3) as facilitators. We included responses to open-ended questions if the topic was mentioned by >= 2 HCPs or patients. In total 50 HCPs (online questionnaire) and 46 patients (semi-structured interview) were invited to participate in the study. Results Participating HCPs (n = 42) mentioned organisational factors as the strongest barriers (e.g. organisational changes and financial resources). Patients (n = 33) mentioned the complexity of participating in MULTI as the main barrier, which could partly be due to organisational factors (e.g. lack of time for nurses to improve tailoring). The implementation was facilitated by positive attitudes of HCPs and patients towards MULTI, including their own role in it. Open responses of HCPs and patients showed strong commitment, collaboration and ownership towards MULTI. Conclusions This is the first study analysing the implementation of a pragmatic lifestyle intervention targeting SMI inpatients in routine clinical care. Positive attitudes of both HCPs and patients towards such an approach facilitated the implementation of MULTI. We suggest that strategies addressing organisational implementation barriers are needed to further improve and maintain MULTI, to succeed in achieving positive health-related outcomes in inpatients with SMI.

Original languageEnglish
Article number740
Number of pages13
JournalBMC Health Services Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 22 Oct 2019


  • Physical activity
  • Severe mental illness
  • Schizophrenia
  • Lifestyle
  • Implementation

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