Rapid Applied Research Translation 

Successful Grants & Fellowships

Prof Nicola Lautenschlager

MACH Partners: Melbourne Health, St Vincent's Hospital Melbourne, University of Melbourne

Project titlePhysical Activity in Aged Mental Health Services: Physical activity guidelines implementation for aged mental health community team consumers

Summary: This project will investigate the benefits of physical activity for older people living with mental illness and assess the feasibility and effectiveness of incorporating physical activity guidelines into Aged Psychiatry Assessment and Treatment Teams.

About Prof Lautenschlager's Research Project

What is the problem you're trying to solve? 

Older people living with mental illness are a diverse, vulnerable group with complex healthcare needs and reduced life expectancy. Physical activity offers significant physical, cognitive and mental health benefits. While physical activity guidelines have been developed to support consumers and clinicians, they are not used in aged mental health services.

About this research translation project 

Aged Persons Assessment and Treatment Teams (APATTs) are the outpatient community outreach teams tasked with providing holistic mental health support for older mental health consumers, which includes physical activity. We will investigate the feasibility and effectiveness of incorporating the use of PA guidelines into APATTs. This multidisciplinary project team will educate APATT clinical staff about guidelines who will in turn support consumers throughout a three-month trial following physical activity guidelines. They will be aided by education and demonstration of exercises; equipment and other tools to help motivation. We will measure the effect of this program on consumer PA levels, as well as quality of life, mental, cognitive and physical health. We will evaluate the project with consumers, APATTs and GPs to ensure that it is acceptable and sustainable.

What will be the impact? 

This research will address the need for integrated mental and physical healthcare, facilitating more holistic health care for older adults with mental illness.

Download this project summary:

For more information on this project, please contact the MACH office:

(03) 8344 9973



The MACH is an NHMRC recognised Advanced Health Research and Translation Centre.

The mission of the MACH is to improve health and wellbeing by integrating medical research, education and clinical care.


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