School of Nursing


Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)


Sherri Walker


provider education, exercise, mental health, non-pharmacological interventions, obesity, physical activity




Mental and physical health are inextricably linked. The advent of the Covid-19 pandemic reduced physical activity levels while worsening mental health symptoms. Pharmacological treatments are frequently used to treat mental health conditions; however, side effects can worsen metabolic issues. There is significant evidence that exercise can improve mental health conditions. The purpose of this project was to utilize provider education as an intervention to increase the use of exercise as an adjunctive treatment in the psychiatric treatment plan. This project was implemented at Nevada Mental Health, an outpatient behavioral health clinic in Las Vegas, Nevada. The investigator conducted a chart review of 100 patient encounters to establish baseline data to determine the frequency with which providers recommended exercise to their patients. The intervention phase was a two-week period during which providers were given education via meetings, video, handouts, and email regarding the importance of utilizing exercise as an adjunctive treatment for mental health conditions. At the end of a 6-week post-test phase, a chart review of 100 randomly selected patient encounters was selected to determine if the providers used exercise as a recommendation in the treatment plan. The researcher compared the data samples and found that the provider education intervention successfully increased the use of exercise in the psychiatric treatment plan.

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