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Graduation Term


Document Type

Thesis-ISU Access Only

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


School of Kinesiology and Recreation

Committee Chair

Kelly Laurson



This study was designed to assess the impact of psychiatric medications on weight status and blood pressure during psychiatric care in a residential treatment facility.


A retrospective repeated measures study design was used with analysis of the role of psychiatric medications in changes in body mass index (BMI) and blood pressure. Confounding variables of age, sex, and length of treatment stay were controlled in statistical analysis for each subject.


Results were not statistically significant and did not support the hypothesis that psychiatric medications influence BMI and blood pressure in adolescents.


Limitations in study design including retrospective data collection and the homogeneity of most patients receiving high risk medication may have contributed to the lack of significant finding to support the hypothesis.


Future research is needed to assess the effect and risks of psychiatric medication use in youth. Research in youth patients taking psychiatric medications for the first time may be beneficial to further determine the role of psychiatric medication on weight status, blood pressure and development of metabolic syndrome indicators in youth. Additional future research will help psychiatric health professionals including medical doctors, dietitians, nurses, and support staff determine how best to meet patients' needs through treatment guidelines, prescribing and monitoring practices. The youth included in this study had a higher average BMI z score and a higher average systolic blood pressure than youth at similar ages suggesting youth in a residential psychiatric treatment facility may be at risk for elevated BMI and systolic blood pressure independent from psychiatric medications taken.


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