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The Impact of Exercise on the Mental Health and Quality of Life of People with Severe Mental Illness: A Critical Review.

Alexandratos, K. and Barnett, F. and Thomas, Yvonne (2012) The Impact of Exercise on the Mental Health and Quality of Life of People with Severe Mental Illness: A Critical Review. British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 75 (2). pp. 48-60. ISSN Print: 0308-0226 Online: 1477-6006

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Abstract

Introduction: Physical exercise has been proven to benefit the general population in terms of mental health and wellbeing. However, there is little research investigating the impact of exercise on mental health and quality of life for people who experience a severe and enduring mental illness. Method: This review aims to describe the effect of physical exercise intervention on the mental health and quality of life of people with severe mental illness. Quantitative and qualitative articles published between 1998-2009 were sourced using electronic databases. Articles were included if the study intervention involved exercise and the outcome measure included mental health or quality of life. Sixteen articles were analysed for common themes and appraised critically. Findings: The findings show that exercise can contribute to improvements in symptoms, including mood, alertness, concentration, sleep patterns and psychotic symptoms. Exercise can also contribute to improved quality of life through social interaction, meaningful use of time, purposeful activity and empowerment. Implications: Future research is warranted to describe the way exercise can meet the unique needs of this population. Studies with a focus on psychological outcome measures would provide greater evidence for its use in therapy.

Item Type: Article
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Uncontrolled Keywords: exercise therapy, occupational therapy, physical exercise, mental health
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
Divisions: Academic Departments > Institute of Health and Society
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Yvonne Thomas
Date Deposited: 23 Jan 2014 09:12
Last Modified: 01 Dec 2014 15:44
URI: https://eprints.worc.ac.uk/id/eprint/2955

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