Exercise your way: A preference-based physical activity intervention in early psychosis


1. Introduction Although physical activity (PA) is recommended, few early psychosis individuals (EPI) engage in PA because of barriers (e.g., motivation). We hypothesized that a PA program based on their preferences, associated with motivational counseling, would facilitate their adherence to a PA program. The purpose of the study was to determine the feasibility of such program and its impact on their participation in a PA intervention. 2. Methods Open trial of a 3-month supervised PA intervention, biweekly, 45 minutes with counseling based on the transtheoretical model. Anthropometric measures (e.g. waist circumference), motivation to PA, psychiatric symptoms (PANSS), global functioning and satisfaction towards the intervention were measured at baseline and after 3 months. 3. Preliminary results 16/45 EPI were recruited (72% women, 26±4.4 years old, BMI: 28.3±4.8 kg/m²). 37.5% dropped out the intervention and compliance rate to the prescribed exercise intervention was 65%. 73% of participants were satisfied with the intervention, 80% found the intervention motivating to achieve more PA, 80% would continue the program, and 100% would recommend the intervention to a peer. Participants who dropped out the intervention (n = 6), compared to those who persisted (n = 10), perceived fewer benefits to PA (p = 0.02) and were more likely to have higher BMI (p = 0.06), or to use experiential motivational strategies (p = 0.06). 4. Discussion Our preliminary results showed that preference-based training is feasible among EPI and is associated with high satisfaction rate.

Acknowledgments: AJR is supported by the FRQS