Teasdale, Scott 2023 05 04

Scott Teasdale

Scott is an Accredited Practising Dietitian and Senior Research Fellow at the Discipline of Psychiatry and Mental Health at UNSW Sydney. Scott is lead for KBIMgardens, the physical health for people with mental illness pillar of Mindgardens Neuroscience Network. Scott's current NHMRC research grant focuses on nutrition intervention for comorbid physical health conditions in people with severe mental illness.


Title: KBIM - food secure: An overview of problem identification and co-design of a solution

Author(s): Scott Teasdale, Catherine O'Donnell

Introduction: People living with a serious mental illness can be at risk for food insecurity due to challenges associated with the illness. However, the extent of this issue, its impacts and potential solutions are largely unknown.

Method: Two cross-sectional studies were conducted to determine the extent of food insecurity and its association with health behaviours in people engaged with mental health services in South Eastern Sydney. Food insecurity was assessed through validated questionnaires in clozapine and long-acting injectable antipsychotic consumers. Prevalence of food insecurity was determined, and independent samples t tests and binary logistic regression analyses were used to understand relationships between food insecurity and health behaviours. Subsequently, two workshops were undertaken using coproduction principles to generate a greater understanding of the problem and potential solutions. A peer worker and a co-design researcher facilitated the workshops which comprised consumers, peer workers and clinicians. Reflexive thematic analysis was used by two researchers and a peer worker in an inductive approach to generate themes. Ethics approval was obtained from the South Eastern Sydney Local Health District Human Research Ethics Committee [LNR/17/POWH/580; 2019/ETH10620; 2022/ETH02327]. Subsequently, two workshops were undertaken using coproduction principles to generate a greater understanding of the problem.

Results & Findings: Food insecurity was reported in 45% (104/233 people) and 31% (58/188 people) who completed cross-sectional study one and two respectively. Those who reported food insecurity were more likely to smoke tobacco (Odds ratios = 1.9 and 3.1 for studies one and two), and less likely to eat fruit (odds ratio = 0.4) and vegetables (odds ratio = 0.4) daily. Seven consumers, one peer worker and six community-based clinicians engaged in the workshops. Generation of themes from the co-design workshops is in progress.

Discussion: Food insecurity is highly prevalent in people living with serious mental illness and linked to unfavourable health behaviours. An in-depth exploration of causes, impacts and potential solutions will lead to an intervention protocol for testing in a pilot trial.