Effectiveness and benefits of exercise on older people living with mental illness’ physical and psychological outcomes in regional Australia: A Mixed-Methods Study

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Abstract

Regular exercise is reported to improve depressive symptoms and quality of life for people experiencing mental illness. For older adults, including strength and balance can also decrease falls. Mental health services seldom include funding for Accredited Exercise Physiologist programs. A 9-week Accredited Exercise Physiologist-led program for older adults receiving mental health treatment with a community Older People’s Mental Health Service was trialed in regional Australia. This clinician-conceived small-scale feasibility study utilized a two-phase concurrent triangulation mixed-method design to evaluate physical and
psychological program outcomes and identify factors related to engaging in physical activity. This tailored exercise program led to improvements in measures of psychological distress and physical and psychological function. These changes corresponded with participants identifying benefits of exercising as a group of adults living with mental illness. Such findings suggest a
supervised, individualized program for older mental health consumers confers physical and psychological benefits; however, further research evaluating exercise interventions with this population is required.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Aging and Physical Activity
Early online date26 Oct 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 26 Oct 2022

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