The physical health and activity of people with severe mental illness (SMI)

Barnett, F., Thomas, Y., Northey, Alyce, and Acha, N. (2011) The physical health and activity of people with severe mental illness (SMI). In: Australian Occupational Therapy Journal (58) 22301. p. 52. From: Occupational Therapy Australia 24th National Conference and Exhibition, 29 June - 1 July 2011, Gold Coast, QLD, Australia.

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Abstract

Introduction: The physical health of people with severe mental illness is frequently overlooked although symptoms associated with mental illness such as low motivation; fatigue and low mood reduce participation in physical activity. Physical activity has been found to provide physical and mental health benefits to those with SMI.

Aim: The aim of this research study was to determine the physical health parameters of people with SMI in North Queensland and explore the lived experiences of participant's attempts to engage in physical activity.

Methods: Twenty participants from the general population and 20 participants with SMI volunteered to take part in this study. Participants completed the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ), anthropometric and physiological measures were taken; BMI, resting blood pressure, waist to hip ratio. A subgroup of participants was interviewed to explore their current and past experiences with engaging in physical activity.

Results: BMI was significantly higher for participants with SMI (p = 0.05). Domestic and garden total MET mean (p = 0.00) and leisure total met mean (p = 0.00) were significantly higher for the general population. Total moderate MET physical activity mean (p = 0.01) and total vigorous MET physical activity mean (p = 0.00) were also significantly higher for the general population. Barriers and facilitators of physical activities were identified through the qualitative data.

Conclusion: Increasing the physical activity of people with SMI can improve the functional capacity of people for activities of daily living. Occupational therapists have an important role in facilitating increased physical activity with this population.

Item ID: 29570
Item Type: Conference Item (Abstract / Summary)
ISSN: 1440-1630
Additional Information:

Conference abstracts published in special issue of Australian Occupational Therapy Journal: Occupational Therapy Australia, 24th National Conference and Exhibition, 29 June - 1 July 2011, Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre, Volume 58, Issue Supplement s1, Pages 1–149

Date Deposited: 11 Mar 2014 00:58
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111714 Mental Health @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920410 Mental Health @ 100%
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