Author ORCID Identifier


Document Type

Research Article


Young adults with serious mental illness (SMI) experience disproportionate rates of physical illness. Morbidity and mortality are even worse for young African Americans with SMI, especially those who are overweight. Primary care physicians (PCPs) have an important role in addressing weight management. Current research explored these young patient’s perceptions of weight management and how PCPs can best address their weight concerns. Using community-based participatory research, we interviewed 25 African American aged 18-30 who were overweight and had a SMI. Results revealed 1) patient perceptions around weight and 2) patient preferences. Participants identified both positive and negative aspects of being overweight, with many connecting their weight gain to the initiation of psychiatric medications. They highlighted their preferences for PCP accessibility, individualized treatment planning, supportive communication patterns with PCPs, and interactive ways to engage with PCPs around weight management. This study highlighted the importance of utilizing shared decision making for providing care.



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