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The Effect of Aerobic Exercise on the Health-related Quality of Life among Overweight Inpatients with Schizophrenia

Chung Chen, B.S., M.S.1, Huan-Kwang Ferng, M.D., M.S.2, Jia-Fu Lee, M.D., Ph.D.2, Shiuh-Nan Hwang, Ph.D.3, Senyeong Kao, Ph.D.4, Sheng-Chich Kang, B.S., M.S.5, Pai-Yuan Kao, B.S., M.S.1

Objective: The main purpose of this research was to explore the effect of aerobic exercise on the health-related quality of life for overweight inpatients with schizophrenia. Methods: Based on personal willingness, the study subjects were divided into two groups: an experimental group of 25 and a control group of 26 patients. Throughout the study period, only the experimental group received aerobic exercise activities while all participants continued regular clinic treatment activities. The experimental group received a total of 36 sessions of aerobic exercise activities over a period up to 12 weeks. Each session involved varied aerobic exercise activities for 60 minutes. Aerobic exercise was recorded in the 1st, 6th, 12th weeks. We administered the World Health Organization's Quality of Life (WHOQOL- BREF) questionnaire after each session to both the experimental and control groups. Participants completed the WHOQOL-BREF questionnaires with the assistance of physicians and nurses when necessary. Results: The main findings of this study are as follows: 1) Over the three stages, the physical domain was the highest scoring domain for subjects of experimental group. Lower scores imply lower quality of life in that domain. 2) The total mean score (at these three points) on health-related quality of life was 53.06, which represents a moderate level of quality of life (as compared to 80). 3) Significan differences were noted for the experimental group in the following domains: the physical domain (higher in 12th as compared to 6th week) (p=0.015), the psychological domain (lower in 6th as compared to 1st week) (p=0.019), social relationships (lower in 6th as compared to 1st week (p=0.009); but improved in the 12th week as compared to the 6th) (p=0.013), and the environmental domain (improved in 12th week compared to the 6th) (p=0.018). The experimental group made greater progress in physical quality of life than the control group over all 12 weeks, while both groups demonstrated no obvious improvement in the domains of psychology, social relationships and environment. Conclusions: Aerobic exercise may have benefits for overweight inpatients with schizophrenia. Findings of this study may have clinical implications for long-term care mental institutions to improve health-related quality of life for overweight inpatients with schizophrenia. (Full text in Chinese)
Key Word overweight, schizophrenia, exercise intervention, aerobic exercise
Editorial Committe, Taiwanese Journal of Psychiatry
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