Project Summary

PCORI has identified the need for large studies that look at real-life questions facing diverse patients, caregivers, and clinicians. In 2014, PCORI launched the Pragmatic Clinical Studies initiative to support large-scale comparative effectiveness studies focusing on everyday care for a wide range of patients. The Pragmatic Clinical Studies initiative funded this research project.

This research project is in progress. PCORI will post the research findings on this page within 90 days after the results are final.

What is the research about?

People with lived experience of a mental illness, like schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, die on average 11–30 years earlier than people who don’t. They are more likely to have health problems like heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol, and lung disease than the rest of the population.

In this study, the research team is comparing two programs to help people with lived experience of mental illness manage their health problems. One program is led by a mental health worker. The other program is led by two peer support specialists, people with lived experience of mental illness who have learned to manage their long-term health problems.

Who can this research help?

People with lived experience of mental illness and their clinicians, such as doctors and nurses, can use the results of this study when considering ways for service users to better manage their health.

What is the research team doing?

The research team is recruiting 600 adults with lived experience of mental illness who also have a long-term heart or lung problem. People in the study are receiving care at a Centerstone mental health clinic in Kentucky or Tennessee.

The research team is assigning people to one of two programs by chance. In the first program, a mental health professional teaches people how to take better care of their physical and mental health. This program includes 2 one-on-one meetings and 14 group meetings. In the second program, two peer support specialists teach people how to take care of their long-term health problem during six group meetings.

After one year, the research team is looking at changes in people’s knowledge of how to take care of their health and their ability to do so. The team is also looking at changes in people’s confidence in managing their own health care. Using health records, the team is checking for changes in how many times people go to the hospital for their health problems.

People with lived experience of mental illness and their families are working with the research team to plan the study.

Research methods at a glance

Design Elements Description
Design Randomized controlled trial
Population Adults ages 18 and older with lived experience of mental illness, a chronic health problem increasing risk of early mortality from cardiovascular or respiratory disease, and at least one emergency room or hospital visit in the past year or the determination by the treatment team that the person needs illness self-management training. Must receive services at Centerstone (Kentucky, Tennessee).
  • Integrated Illness Management and Recovery: 2 individual and 14 group education and skills training sessions with a mental health professional
  • Stanford Chronic Disease Self-Management Program: 6 group education and skills training sessions with 2 peer support specialists—lay people who have successfully managed chronic illness—or a peer support specialist and a mental health professional
Outcomes Change in knowledge and skills in illness self-management, patient activation, and acute hospital events
Timeframe 1-year follow-up for study outcomes

Conflict of Interest Disclosures

Project Information

Sarah Pratt, PhD^
Dartmouth-Hitchcock Clinic
Integrated Physical and Mental Health Self-management Compared to Chronic Disease Self-management

Key Dates

April 2018
March 2026

Study Registration Information

^Stephen Bartels, MD, MS, at Trustees of Dartmouth College was the principal investigator when this study was awarded.


Has Results
Award Type
Health Conditions Health Conditions These are the broad terms we use to categorize our funded research studies; specific diseases or conditions are included within the appropriate larger category. Note: not all of our funded projects focus on a single disease or condition; some touch on multiple diseases or conditions, research methods, or broader health system interventions. Such projects won’t be listed by a primary disease/condition and so won’t appear if you use this filter tool to find them. View Glossary
Populations Populations PCORI is interested in research that seeks to better understand how different clinical and health system options work for different people. These populations are frequently studied in our portfolio or identified as being of interest by our stakeholders. View Glossary
Intervention Strategy Intervention Strategies PCORI funds comparative clinical effectiveness research (CER) studies that compare two or more options or approaches to health care, or that compare different ways of delivering or receiving care. View Glossary
State State The state where the project originates, or where the primary institution or organization is located. View Glossary
Last updated: October 16, 2023