What are individual perceptions of the role that physical activity plays during treatment of severe mental illness (SMI)?
Joshi, Adital Maheshchandra
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Citation:Joshi, A. M. (2022). What are individual perceptions of the role that physical activity plays during treatment of severe mental illness (SMI)? (Unpublished document submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Applied Science). Otago Polytechnic, New Zealand. https://doi.org/10.34074/thes.5826
Permanent link to Research Bank record:https://hdl.handle.net/10652/5826
There have been many studies published on treatments for severe mental illness (SMI) and the use of physical activity programs during treatment of SMI. However, many of the problems faced by community living individuals recovering from SMI are overlooked or not accounted for. Discrimination, side effects from antipsychotic medications, gaps in treatment referral systems, stigma and misdiagnosis continue to be issues that impede independent treatment of SMI in the community. Relatively little research has examined the reality of recovery and the role of physical activity during treatment of SMI. Through the lens of semi structured interviews with six individuals suffering from SMI, this research explores the part physical activity (PA) can play during treatment of SMI through the use of grounded theory. Findings from this study indicated that participants gained social relevance by performing PA in communal settings and that inspired them to discover their solo forms of physical activity during individual journeys through recovery. For the study participants, structured physical activity interventions were not the one and only solution for a successful treatment of SMI, quite the opposite. This study provides some insight into recovery experiences which participants experienced as a process rather than an outcome. Issues such as, generalised prescription of medications on the basis of assumptions from case histories; lack of support from psychiatrists during changing the dosage of medications; long waiting times and limited number of sessions to attend counselling, highlight the need for mental health professionals to ‘just listen’ to people with SMI for a person-oriented recovery. This study will help other researchers understand how solo forms of PA works during treatment of SMI and help them to carry out more research to establish different forms of solo exercises for a more person-centered recovery through social connection and independence.
Keywords:New Zealand, people with severe mental illness, severe mental illness (SMI), physical activity, exercise for mental health, perceptions, mental health services
ANZSRC Field of Research:420313 Mental health services, 420799 Sports science and exercise not elsewhere classified, 420199 Allied health and rehabilitation science not elsewhere classified
Degree:Master of Applied Science, Otago Polytechnic
Supervisors:Handcock, Phil; Humphrey, Richard
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