Date of Conferral



Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)


Public Health


Susan A. Nyanzi


Veterans with serious mental illness (SMI) are at high risk of developing conditions such as insulin resistance, obesity, and smoking, which may lead to chronic medical problems. As a result, the morbidity and mortality of people with SMI are high compared to the general population. It appears that integrated care improves the wellbeing of veterans; however, there is a gap in the literature on wellness-based interventions for veterans with SMI. The purpose of this cross-sectional study was to evaluate the association between a wellness intervention for veterans and their perceived quality of life (QOL). Social cognitive theory was the theoretical lens through which this study was conducted. It was hypothesized that there is an association between veterans’ involvement in the wellness component of a program and their perceived QOL. The program is a specialty VA service known as Mental Health Intensive Case Management (MHICM). A total of 112 veterans served by a single MHICM program in the U.S. Southeast completed a validated VA survey that measures health related QOL. A chart audit was conducted to gather information such as years served by the program and type of wellness services received. Regression modeling was used to assess the relationship between a veteran’s involvement in the wellness interventions and his or her perceived QOL. The study results showed that the interventions were not significant predictors of veterans QOL. Two covariates, age and gender, were found to be significant predictors, but each accounted for less than 7% of the variance. The study findings show the need for further research to explore the role of wellness interventions in a veteran’s recovery. Social change may result from encouraging veterans with SMIs to participate in self-rated QOL measures.