Multi-dimensional wellness interventions for older adults with serious mental illness: A systematic literature review

Michelle R. Zechner, Carlos W. Pratt, Nora M. Barrett, Margaret Rush Dreker, Stephanie Santos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: Aging persons with serious mental illness present unique challenges for community mental health services. This population is increasing in numbers in mental health treatment settings. The combination of serious mental illness with the vicissitudes of aging suggest that a broader conceptualization of this population may improve services. SAMHSA's 8 Dimension of Wellness offers a comprehensive strengths-based framework for interventions to maximize older persons' abilities and address the complex bidirectional effects of physical, emotional, social, spiritual, occupational, financial, intellectual, and environmental challenges to wellness. This systemic literature review identifies unidimensional and multidimensional wellness interventions for older adults with mental illness. METHOD: We conducted a systematic literature review to identify wellness interventions provided to persons with serious mental illness with a mean age of 45 or higher. RESULTS: Twenty-six articles representing 14 distinct wellness interventions were identified. None of the articles used SAMHSA's 8 Dimensions of Wellness framework. The physical wellness (n = 21) and social (n = 15) dimensions were the most frequently described in the literature. There was no mention of either the intellectual or spiritual dimensions. The quality of the research of these interventions varied; 14 papers described a randomized controlled trial. CONCLUSIONS: The SAMHSA wellness framework has not been used to design interventions for older persons with serious mental illness. Interventions for aging persons should support comprehensive wellness, including the intellectual and spiritual domains. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)382-393
Number of pages12
JournalPsychiatric rehabilitation journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health Professions (miscellaneous)
  • Rehabilitation
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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