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Exploring the benefits of an exercise program for people with schizophrenia : a qualitative study
journal contributionposted on 2017-12-06, 00:00 authored by M Fogarty, Brenda Happell
The relationship between regular exercise and physical health and well-being is extensively documented in the literature. However, considerably less attention is devoted to the impact of exercise on health outcomes for people experiencing a mental illness. In response to the recognized paucity, a structured exercise program was developed and implemented for residents of a Community Care Unit inmetropolitan Melbourne, Australia. Six residents participated in the program over a period of three months.This paper reports the findings of a qualitative study. A focus group interview was conducted with the resident participants (n = 6), the exercise physiologists who developed and implemented the program (n = 2), and nursing staff involved in implementing and supporting the program (n = 4). Analysis of the data collected revealed that four main themes had emerged: the individual nature of the plans. The findings of this study suggest that involvement in the program produced very positive outcomes, most notably in the physical fitness of residents. The individual nature ofthe program which enabled gradual participation, and the cohesive approach of the group as a whole were considered very important factors contributing to the overall success. Furthermore, the participants planned to continue with some form of physical activity in the future. The potential value of regular exercise for patients experiencing a mental illness has significant implications for nursing and requires further research exploration.
Number of Pages11
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External Author AffiliationsCentre for Psychiatric Nursing Research and Practice; NorthWestern Mental Health (Melbourne, Vic.);