In people with schizophrenia, physical activity (PA) is considered as a new strategy to improve mental health outcomes such as depression, anxiety, and stress symptoms.
The aim of this project is to improve depression, anxiety, and stress symptoms in people with schizophrenia through playful and collective physical games, based on cognitive remediation, social functioning, and physical reconditioning.
Outpatients (n = 25; 20% women) with schizophrenia being between 16 to 45 years old, were randomized divided. The experimental group (n = 11; 9,1% women) did a supervised intervention of 12 sessions, 2 hours, twice per week. The control group (n = 14; 28,6% women) was a usual care intervention. Participants completed the Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scale (DASS).
Repeated measures did not reveal significant impact of the program, as DASS final scores were reduced for the 2 groups. Results revealed a time effect for depression (p = 0,008), anxiety (p = 0,006), and a group effect for stress (p = 0,03). Finally, for depression score a rate of 45% of individuals in the PA group moved to a lower symptom severity category after the intervention and 64% for the anxiety score.
The lack of interaction effect in our analyses can be justified by the large individual differences observed. In addition, our intervention duration is shorter than the average found in the literature. Finally, the program should be extended, and the form of grouping modified, to reduce the bias of the analyses.