Abstract

Purpose: Research has only recently started to consider the applicability of physical activity (PA) for people with schizophrenia. Although there is increasing evidence for the benefits of physical activity, this population remains generally physically inactive and sedentary. The aim of the current study is to highlight 10 pertinent physical activity research questions in people with schizophrenia.

Method: The International Organisation of Physical Therapy in Mental Health (IOPTMH) executed a consultation of its National Organisations (n=13) to identify the most salient questions relevant to guide clinical practice on physical activity in people with schizophrenia.

Results: We identified the following 10 questions: (1) What are the benefits of physical activity for people with schizophrenia? (2) What are the mechanisms of the physical activity effects in people with schizophrenia? (3) What are the most prominent safety issues for physical activity prescription in people with schizophrenia? (4) What is the most optimal physical activity prescription for people with schizophrenia? (5) What are the key barriers for engaging people with schizophrenia in physical activity? (6) What are the most effective motivational interventions for physical activity adoption and maintenance in people with schizophrenia? (7) How do we translate physical activity research into clinical and community practice? (8) How can we ensure integration of physical therapists within the multidisciplinary mental health treatment team? (9) How can we prevent sedentary behaviour in people with schizophrenia? (10) What is the most appropriate physical activity assessment method in clinical practice?

Conclusions: Addressing these questions is critical for developing evidence-based approaches for promoting and sustaining an active lifestyle in people with schizophrenia. Ultimately, achieving this will improve the quality of life of this population.

Implications for Rehabilitation:

· Investigation of behaviour change interventions for people with schizophrenia is critical

· A low cost, easy to use, clinical, valid physical activity questionnaire is urgently needed.

Keywords

exercise, physical activity, psychosis, schizophrenia

Available for download on Monday, June 05, 2017

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