The long-term impact of high-intensity interval training in a psychotic population: A randomized controlled trial


Psychotic disorders lead to a reduction of life expectancy and increase the risk of developing cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. They are also associated to a regular medication use, poor lifestyle habits and sedentary behaviors. These factors contribute to the prevalence of obesity in this population. Physical activity (PA) allows global improvement of mental and physical health. The objective of this project is to observe the long-term effects of high-intensity interval PA, the maintenance of benefits six months after individuals completes the intervention. The included individuals (n= 66, 37.9% of women), with psychotic disorders and under regular medication, were subjected to a 6-month interval training of running on treadmill, twice 30 minutes per week. After the intervention, they had free access to the installations used for six months. They were evaluated before, after the intervention and six months after it. Improvements were observed after the intervention about negative symptoms (p=0.01), global functioning (p=0.02) and social functioning (p=0.001). At recall 6 months after the end of the intervention, the maintenance of effects was observed only in negative symptoms (p=0.047). The loss of benefits demonstrates that lack of supervision is a facilitator of PA dropout in individuals living with psychosis. Further studies are needed to find strategies that allow individuals to maintain an active lifestyle, as we know that social functioning is improved by PA, we should adjust the intervention to an objective of reinvesting PA in daily life by integrating the social dimension and tools allowing them to practice independently.