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Self-reported physical activity levels of the 2017 Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) conference delegates and their exercise referral practices
journal contributionposted on 09.07.2019, 00:00 by H Fibbins, L Czosnek, Robert Stanton, K Davison, O Lederman, R Morell, P Ward, S Rosenbaum
Background: Physical activity (PA) significantly improves physical health and clinical symptoms across mental disorders. Accredited Exercise Physiologists (AEPs) are trained to lead PA interventions for people with mental illness, but referrals to AEPs are low. Aims: To determine the knowledge and attitudes of delegates attending the 2017 Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) conference toward physical health monitoring and exercise interventions for people with mental illness. Methods: A cross-sectional survey of RANZCP delegates investigated knowledge and attitudes toward PA for people with mental illness, self-reported PA, and their understanding of AEP’s role within mental health settings. A subgroup of delegates underwent fitness assessments. Results: Seventy-three delegates completed surveys and 24 underwent fitness assessments. Delegates demonstrated good knowledge regarding associations between PA and cardiovascular disease risk. Delegates were less knowledgeable of AEP’s role within mental health settings. Forty-six participants (63%) did not meet the Australian recommended guidelines for PA. No association between referrals to AEPs and self-reported PA or fitness measures were evident. Conclusions: Promoting PA participation for mental health professionals, coupled with education on the important role AEPs play in the multidisciplinary treatment of mental health consumers is vital to improve health outcomes for this vulnerable group. © 2018, © 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.