Implementation trial of a wellness self-management program for individuals with severe mental illness in an Italian Day Hospital setting: a pilot study

S. Landi 1 *, D. Palumbo 1 *, P. Margolies 2, A.J. Salerno 3, A. Cleek 3, E. Castaldo 4, A. Mucci 1

1 Department of Psychiatry, University of Campania “Luigi Vanvitelli”, Naples, Italy; 2 Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University and New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York City, USA; 3 McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research, NYU Silver School of Social Work, New York, USA; 4 Division of Psychiatry, University Hospital “San Giovanni di Dio e Ruggi d’Aragona”, Salerno, Italy * These authors contributed equally to this manuscript


The Wellness Self-Management (WSM) is an adaptation and expansion of  Illness Management and Recovery (IMR), an internationally recognized best practice. In order to validate the Italian version of WSM our goals included the translation from English to Italian of the WSM workbook and the implementation of an abbreviated WSM program in an Italian day hospital setting.
Methods: In a randomized controlled trial 14 patients with a diagnosis of severe mental illness were recruited and randomly assigned to two groups. Seven individuals received an abbreviated version of WSM, while the controls received Treatment as Usual. Groups did not differ for age, education, cognitive functioning and symptomatology.  All patients received weekly planned treatment in the day hospital setting. After treatment, group differences on change scores were tested using ANOVA.


Compared to controls, at immediate post-intervention, WSM participants reported significant improvement in processing speed, psychopathology, neurocognitive and personal resources and real-life functioning.


These results offer promising preliminary evidence that the use of an abbreviated Italian translation of the WSM workbook provides an effective complement to current mental health treatment.

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