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Tetlie. T Heimsnes. M Roger Almvik

Using exercise to treat patients with severe mental illness: how and why?

J Psychosoc Nurs Ment Health Serv 2009. Feb;47(2):32-40 | 2009


In this study, one focus group and five individual semi-structured interviews were conducted to investigate nursing staff's ways of using exercise as part of the routine treatment for patients with severe mental illness (SMI). The study also explored the patients' experiences and views of the exercise program given in this secure hospital. The organization and delivery of the exercise program are also discussed. The findings indicate that successful outcomes and adherence to exercise programs for patients with SMI in a secure setting rely on therapeutic relationships, having exercise as a mandatory part of the treatment, positive reinforcement, and experienced instructors. More research is needed to identify effective exercise interventions and feasible delivery models for individuals with SMI in secure settings.