The experiences of people with severe and enduring mental illness engaged in a physical activity programme integrated into the mental health service
ISPAH ePoster Library. Hodgson M. Oct 15, 2018; 225076
Mrs. Margot Hodgson
Mrs. Margot Hodgson
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Abstract ObjectivesRegular physical activity can be beneficial for people with severe and enduring mental illness (SEMI). However there is little information about how this might be initiated and maintained. This work reports findings from qualitative research, the aim of which was to identify factors influencing adherence to an activity programme and the perceived effects of physical activity on well-being. MethodsSeventeen people (18 - 65 years) with SEMI were recruited from an established physical activity programme (specifically designed for mental health service users). One-to-one semi-structured interviews were recorded, transcribed and member checked. Thematic analysis was adopted to extract perceptions about programme participation, its benefits and drawbacks. ResultsResults indicated that a combination of the mental illness and effects of medicationwere the main barriers to participation. The main enabling factors to participation were the support of the mental health staff and the organisation and structure of the physical activity sessions. Emerging themes illustrate the benefits of physical activity in enhancing mental wellbeing, physical health and in providing social opportunities. ConclusionThis qualitative research demonstrates that a physical activity programme integratedinto the mental health service and supported by partnership working can address several of the unique barriers faced by this population. Through the provision of opportunity, appropriate support and structure of the sessions, people with SEMI can take part in sustained regular physical activity. Outcomes indicate benefits to mental well-being which can assist in recovery of those with SEMI and help with adherence to the programme.
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