Romain, A., Longpré-Poirier, C., Tannous, M. et Abdel-Baki, A. (2020). Physical activity for patients with severe mental illness: preferences, barriers and perceptions of counselling. Science & Sports, 35, 289-299.
Objectives : It has been suggested that taking physical activity (PA) preferences into account would facilitate PA initiation and maintenance in people with serious mental illness. The objective of the present study was to describe the PA preferences and barriers of individuals with serious mental illness.
Equipment and methods : Participants completed questionnaires about their PA preferences (type, context, supervision, environment), and about the importance given to healthy behaviour in their rehabilitation.
Results : The most popular activities, among the 114 participants enrolled, were walking (55.3%), cycling (46.5%), and running (33.3%). PA preferences were found to vary according to body mass index, age, stages of change and to be particularly different according to gender. About 36.9% of the participants preferred to be supervised, 47% preferred outdoor activities and gender was the factor with the largest difference (76.2% of women vs 23.8% of men wanted to be supervised). Main PA barriers were lack of motivation, fatigue, lack of social support and weather. Participants valued mental health professional counselling for healthy life habits and attributed similar importance to this aspect (physical health) of their well-being as their mental health improvement and social and occupational functioning.
Conclusion : Preferences and contexts should be considered in the development of PA interventions. Further research is warranted to determine if preference-oriented exercise programmes could improve PA and overall health among patients with serious mental illness.