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Changes in mental health in compliers and non-compliers with physical activity recommendations in patients with stress-related exhaustion.
Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences, GIH, Department of Sport and Health Sciences, Åstrand Laboratory of Work Physiology, Björn Ekblom's and Mats Börjesson's research group.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8786-0438
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2015 (English)In: BMC Psychiatry, ISSN 1471-244X, E-ISSN 1471-244X, Vol. 15, 272Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

BACKGROUND: There is a lack of research regarding the long-lasting effects of a more physically active lifestyle in patients with mental disorders. In the present study, clinical data were analysed to examine if initially physically inactive patients, clinically diagnosed with stress-related exhaustion, taking part in 12-month multimodal treatment (MMT), differ at the 18-month follow-up regarding mental health, depending on whether they did or did not comply with the physical activity (PA) recommendations resembling those of the American College of Sports Medicine.

METHODS: The study population consisted of 69 patients (65 % women) who were referred to a stress clinic due to stress-related exhaustion. All patients received MMT. A major goal was to increase patients' PA levels. The patients received general comprehensive instructions including personal advice regarding the positive effects of PA on mental health and could self-select for an 18-week coached exercise program. Changes in mental health symptoms over an 18-month period were compared between non-compliers (n = 26), mild compliers (n = 22) and strong compliers (n = 21) with the PA recommendations included in the MMT.

RESULTS: Non-compliers, mild and strong compliers did not differ regarding burnout, depression and anxiety at baseline. Although substantial improvements occurred in all groups, mild and strong compliers reported significantly lower burnout and depression levels at the 18-month follow-up than the non-complying group (p < .05). The general pattern of findings was corroborated, if standard cut-off criteria for clinical burnout were used.

CONCLUSIONS: Compliance with PA recommendations is associated with decreased levels of burnout and depression in patients with stress-related exhaustion. Thus, the promotion of a more active lifestyle among patients with stress-related exhaustion should be implemented as a part of MMT, to achieve a more sustainable decrease of symptoms of burnout and depression.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: This is not a clinical trial.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 15, 272
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URN: urn:nbn:se:gih:diva-4198DOI: 10.1186/s12888-015-0642-3ISI: 000364013500001PubMedID: 26530329OAI: diva2:868169
Available from: 2015-11-09 Created: 2015-11-09 Last updated: 2016-02-24

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