Physical activity to address mental health in a remote Australian community: community readiness assessment

Russell, Kirsten, Barnett, Fiona, Varela, Sharon, Rosenbaum, Simon, and Stanton, Robert (2024) Physical activity to address mental health in a remote Australian community: community readiness assessment. Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice. (In Press)

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Abstract

Purpose: The mental and physical health of those residing in Australian rural and remote communities is poorer compared to major cities. Physical health comorbidities contribute to almost 80% of premature mortality for people living with mental illness. Leisure time physical activity (LTPA) is a well-established intervention to improve physical and mental health. To address the physical and mental health of rural and remote communities through LTPA, the community’s level of readiness should be first determined. This study aims to use the community readiness model (CRM) to explore community readiness in a remote Australian community to address mental health through LTPA.

Design/methodology/approach: Individual semi-structured interviews were conducted using the CRM on LTPA to address mental health. Quantitative outcomes scored the community’s stage of readiness for LTPA programmes to address mental health using the CRM categories of one (no awareness) to nine (high level of community ownership). Qualitative outcomes were thematically analysed, guided by Braun and Clark.

Findings: The community scored six (initiation) for community efforts and knowledge of LTPA programmes and seven (stabilisation) for leadership. The community’s attitude towards LTPA and resources for programmes scored four (pre-planning), and knowledge of LTPA scored three (vague awareness).

Originality/value: To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first Australian study to use CRM to examine community readiness to use LTPA to improve mental health in a remote community. The CRM was shown to be a useful tool to identify factors for intervention design that might optimise community empowerment in using LTPA to improve mental health at the community level.

Item ID: 82747
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1755-6228
Keywords: Rural population, Behaviour change, Rural health, Co-design
Copyright Information: Copyright © 2024, Emerald Publishing Limited.
Date Deposited: 21 May 2024 07:10
FoR Codes: 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4207 Sports science and exercise > 420702 Exercise physiology @ 25%
42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4203 Health services and systems > 420321 Rural and remote health services @ 50%
42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4203 Health services and systems > 420313 Mental health services @ 25%
SEO Codes: 20 HEALTH > 2005 Specific population health (excl. Indigenous health) > 200508 Rural and remote area health @ 50%
20 HEALTH > 2004 Public health (excl. specific population health) > 200409 Mental health @ 25%
20 HEALTH > 2004 Public health (excl. specific population health) > 200407 Health status (incl. wellbeing) @ 25%
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