Those with mental health issues often present in primary care with somatic symptoms, utilize more health care, and on average die younger. Physical exercise has the potential to be an effective treatment for comorbid physical and mental health symptoms; however, prescribing exercise for those with mental illness is more complicated. Although physical exercise is a possible intervention, more research is needed to further understand the complicated influences exercise may have on those in mental health outpatient with complicated presentations, trauma histories, disruption to the HPA axis, attachment bonds, and possible complicating substance use. Exercise is dose responsive and research has pointed out intensity of exercise performed matters when attempting to shift physical health. This study used three measurements of symptom severity: Trauma Symptom Checklist–40, Global Assessment of Functioning, and the Patient Health Questionnaire to assess 149 clients presenting for outpatient treatment in a rural community health center. Using the Exercise Benefits / Barriers Scale and the Godin Leisure Time Activity Questionnaire the perception of exercise benefits, barriers, time spent exercising, and intensity levels of exercise was assessed. Those with higher symptom cluster presentations exercised less often and less intensely. Those who had participated in physical exercise over seven days with strenuous or moderate intensity reported less symptoms related to somatoform disorder, depression, panic, and anxiety. Additional findings and implications for future research are discussed.
|Commitee:||Lasky, Gina, Sukal, Marlon|
|School:||The Chicago School of Professional Psychology|
|Department:||Clinical Psychology: Somatic Concentration|
|School Location:||United States -- Illinois|
|Source:||DAI-B 76/08(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Kinesiology, Clinical psychology|
|Keywords:||Clinical population, Exercise, Fitness, Mental health, Physcial activity, Trauma|
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