A PEEK BEHIND THE STUDY … WITH MARTIN FÆRCH ANDERSEN

Andersen MF, Roed K, Riis A, et al. Perspectives of professional experts in relation to the development of community-based exercise for young adults with schizophrenia: a qualitative study.

 

The full article can be found here

 

Tell us more about yourself and the author team

My name is Martin Færch Andersen. I work as a Lecturer at the University College of Northern Denmark, Department of Physiotherapy, and as a PhD student at the Centre of Applied Research in Mental Health Care (CAREMN), Psychiatric Centre Glostrup. Our research group works with developing, evaluating, and implementing clinical and practical research within mental health care.

 

Martin Færch Andersen

 

What is the story behind your study?

This study is a part of the developmental work for a large multicenter pragmatic RCT entitled “Vega Exercise Community” currently taking place in Denmark. The Vega Exercise Community aims to investigate the value of community-based exercise for young adults undergoing antipsychotic treatment.

 

In your own words, what did you find?

According to clinical and/or academic experts, developers of community-based exercise for people with schizophrenia should not only focus on structural or practical factors (such as education of instructors, providing exercise content, etc.) but also cultural or value-based factors. Therefore, exploring how an exercise community can serve as an arena for fostering personal recovery (living a meaningful life despite potential mental illness challenges) is important while promoting sustainable long-term physical active behaviour.

 

What was the main challenge you faced in your study?

The primary challenge in our study is the absence of input from real experts, individuals living with schizophrenia. Thus, our findings and recommendations should always be accompanied by perspectives from those who are intended to be a part of an exercise community.

 

If there is one take-home message from your study, what would that be?

Exercise and sports have a huge unreleased potential in protecting the physical and mental health of people with serious mental illnesses, including schizophrenia. Providing exercise communities tailored to young adults with schizophrenia may be a stepping stone towards long-term physical active behaviour while supporting a personal recovery journey.

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