https://alliedhealth.ouhsc.edu/Research Parent Page: Research id: 4237 Active Page: Y-OU IMPACT: An IHOPE Interventionid:25467

Y-OU IMPACT: An IHOPE Intervention

This interprofessional program and research study is led by Dr. Jessica Tsotsoros, an occupational therapist, and Dr. Ken Randall, a physical therapist, both from the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, in collaboration with the Tandy Family YMCA Healthy Living Center, which they consider to be their “community-based laboratory.”  The study uses a coaching model to examine the mediating effects of physical activity, nutrition, stress management, and overall wellness education on the health of people with severe mental health diagnoses. 

Head Graphic

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Student physical therapists and occupational therapists, under the supervision of their faculty, serve as fitness and wellness coaches for the program participants.

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Program participants learn about healthy eating habits and learn how to prepare healthy meals in the YMCA’s kitchen under the guidance of culinary medicine faculty.

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Student coaches apply what they learn in school to create individualized approaches for each participant.  


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One of the graduating classes of the IHOPE program, along with  their coaches.


  • This unique interprofessional research and program delivery collaboration involves the OUHSC Department of Rehabilitation Sciences (occupational therapy and physical therapy), the OU College of Medicine’s Culinary Medicine Program, the OU IMPACT program, which is part of the Department of Psychiatry, and the Tandy Family YMCA Healthy Living Center.
  • IHOPE is an individualized health and wellness intervention for adults with severe mental health illnesses (SMI) who are coached by student occupational therapists and physical therapists under the supervision of their faculty to establish healthy habits and self-management skills
  • Main objectives are to develop the necessary health, exercise, and wellness habits needed in order to have a positive effect on physical and psychosocial effects that are associated with behavioral diagnoses
  • Student volunteers develop patient interaction and coaching skills, plus learn a great deal about the bio-psychosocial aspects of mental and physical health.
  • In addition to occupational and physical therapy students, the research study and program also involves psychiatry residents, faculty, and the staff and trainers at the Tandy YMCA in Tulsa. 

Preliminary findings of this study reveal win-win outcomes for all involved: the study participants demonstrate increased measures of fitness and hope, and decreased measures of anxiety and depression.  Additionally, student coaches report a greater understanding of what it means to have a mental health diagnosis, and, to quote one of the student coaches, “how people with a mental health diagnosis are no different from you or me. They’re just brave enough to have sought care and are actively working to take care of it.” 

Ken & Jessica
Contact email and phone

Jessica Tsotsoros, PhD, OTR/L
(918) 660-3282
4502 East 41st Street, Room 2D31

Ken Randall PT, PhD, MHR
(918) 660-3276
4502 East 41st Street, Room 2F19

 

* all images are used with consent