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Exercise is medicine… when you enjoy it: Exercise enjoyment, relapse prevention efficacy, and health outcomes for youth within a drug and alcohol treatment service

journal contribution
posted on 26.05.2021, 05:04 by Bonnie Furzer, Amanda RebarAmanda Rebar, James A Dimmock, Alissa More, Ashleigh L Thornton, Kemi Wright, Allan Colthart, Ben Jackson
Evidence for the effectiveness of exercise as therapy for youth substance use disorder (SUD) is scarce. In this study, we investigated associations between exercise enjoyment and recovery outcomes for youth undergoing residential SUD treatment. Method: Using ecological momentary assessment, each week participants reported perceptions of exercise enjoyment, relapse prevention efficacy, self-esteem, and physical health, and associations between these variables were assessed at both between- and within-person levels. There were 97 participants (age: M = 17.5, SD = 1.57, range = 14 to 21; 37 female, 60 male), with a final sample of 64 due to participants (n = 33) discontinuing treatment within 2 weeks of commencement. Of the remaining sample, 50% (n = 32) completed 3 or more assessments, 40% (n = 26) completed 5 or more, and 25% (n = 16) completed 7 or more. Results: Relapse prevention efficacy, self-esteem, and perceived physical health increased over time in the program. Youth who, on average, enjoyed exercise more had higher self-esteem, perceived physical health, and relapse prevention efficacy than those who enjoyed it less. Additionally, on occasions when youth enjoyed exercise more (relative to their own average), they reported higher self-esteem, perceived physical health, and relapse prevention efficacy than on occasions when they reported enjoying it less. Conclusion: Participation in—and importantly, enjoyment of—exercise was linked to key health indices and predictors of relapse for youth during SUD treatment. These findings demonstrate that participation in enjoyable structured exercise may provide an important component of successful SUD treatment.

Funding

Category 3 - Industry and Other Research Income

History

Volume

52

Start Page

1

End Page

7

Number of Pages

7

eISSN

1878-5476

ISSN

1469-0292

Publisher

Elsevier

Language

en

Peer Reviewed

Yes

Open Access

No

Acceptance Date

11/09/2020

External Author Affiliations

University of Western Australia; James Cook University; Mental Health Commission, WA

Author Research Institute

Appleton Institute

Era Eligible

Yes

Journal

Psychology of Sport and Exercise

Article Number

101800