Evaluating the Feasibility of a Pilot Exercise Intervention Implemented Within a Residential Rehabilitation Unit for People With Severe Mental Illness: GO HEART: (Group Occupational Health Exercise and Rehabilitation Treatment)

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Korman, Nicole H
Shah, Shelukumar
Suetani, Shuichi
Kendall, Karen
Rosenbaum, Simon
Dark, Frances
Nadareishvili, Ketevan
Siskind, Dan
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Purpose: People with severe mental illness are sedentary, have high cardio-metabolic risks and significantly reduced life expectancy. Despite considerable data regarding positive physical and mental health outcomes following exercise interventions, implementation and evaluation of real-world programs is lacking. The primary aim of this study was to assess the feasibility of an exercise intervention implemented by exercise physiology (EP) students within a residential rehabilitation unit for residents with severe mental illness, together with assessment of a range of secondary physical and mental health outcomes pre- and post- the intervention. Design: Single arm, prospective pilot study evaluating outcomes pre- and post- a 10 week intervention. Method: Inactive people with severe mental illness participated in a mixed aerobic and resistance exercise intervention, three times per week for 10 weeks. Data was obtained from a sample of 16 residents with severe mental illness; primary diagnosis schizophrenia (n = 12). Primary outcomes were feasibility as assessed using recruitment, retention and participation rates, as well as reasons for withdrawal and amount of exercise achieved. Secondary outcomes included: functional exercise capacity was measured by the 6-min walk test; metabolic data obtained from anthropometric measurements; blood pressure; fasting cholesterol and blood sugar levels; and physical activity levels and mental health as assessed by self- administered questionnaires measured before and after the intervention. Results: Broad level acceptance of the program: high recruitment (81%), retention (77%), and participation (78%) rates were observed. Promising improvements in functional exercise capacity, volume of exercise, and negative symptoms was demonstrated in those who completed. Conclusions: Exercise interventions delivered by EP students in a residential rehabilitation setting for people with SMI are feasible; group setting, supervision and choice for engagement are important considerations. Evaluation of longitudinal, multi site studies, with the addition of dietary interventions within residential rehabilitation units are warranted. Addressing cost feasibility and cost effectiveness of such programs is recommended. The trial was registered with the Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ANZCTR) number, Unique Identifier: ACTRN 12618000478213, http://www.anzctr.org.au Universal trial number (UTN) - U1111-1211-4009.

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Frontiers in Psychiatry
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© 2018 Korman, Shah, Suetani, Kendall, Rosenbaum, Dark, Nadareishvili and Siskind. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
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severe mental illness
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Korman, NH; Shah, S; Suetani, S; Kendall, K; Rosenbaum, S; Dark, F; Nadareishvili, K; Siskind, D, Evaluating the Feasibility of a Pilot Exercise Intervention Implemented Within a Residential Rehabilitation Unit for People With Severe Mental Illness: GO HEART: (Group Occupational Health Exercise and Rehabilitation Treatment), Frontiers in Psychiatry, 2018, 9, pp. 343:1-343:11