"We're not just sitting on the periphery": A staff perspective of physical activity in older adults with schizophrenia

Heather Leutwyler, Erin M. Hubbard, Dilip V. Jeste, Sophia Vinogradov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations

Abstract

Targeted physical activity interventions to improve the poor physical function of older adults with schizophrenia are necessary but currently not available. Given disordered thought processes and institutionalization, it is likely that older adults with schizophrenia have unique barriers and facilitators to physical activity. It is necessary to consider the perspective of the mental health staff about barriers and facilitators to physical activity to design a feasible intervention. Purpose of This Study: To describe the perceptions of mental health staff about barriers and facilitators to engage in physical activities that promote physical function among older adults with schizophrenia. Design and Method: We conducted qualitative interviews with 23 mental health staff that care for older adults with schizophrenia. The data were collected and analyzed with grounded theory methodology. Results: The participants were interested in promoting physical activity with older adults with schizophrenia. Facilitators and barriers to physical activity identified were mental health, role models and rewards, institutional factors, and safety. Implications: In order to design successful physical activity interventions for this population, the intervention may need to be a routine part of the mental health treatment program and patients may need incentives to participate. Staff should be educated that physical activity may provide the dual benefit of physical and mental health treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)474-483
Number of pages10
JournalGerontologist
Volume53
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Center for Research Resources (KL2R024130 to H.L.) and the National Institute of Nursing Research (P30-NR011934-0 to H.L.). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Center for Research Resources or the National Institutes of Health.

Keywords

  • Grounded theory
  • Schizophrenia

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