Perspectives of professional experts in relation to the development of community-based exercise for young adults with schizophrenia – A qualitative study


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Background Physical activity is a key modifiable factor in protecting physical and mental health in people with severe mental illness including schizophrenia. Therefore, early promotion of physical activity is recommended and programmes supporting long-term maintenance of physically active behaviour are warranted. This study aimed to explore the perspectives of professional experts in relation to the development of a sustainable community-based exercise programme tailored to young adults with schizophrenia and intended to promote change and adoption of physical activity. Methods We conducted nine semi-structured interviews with 11 clinical and professional experts. Qualitative content analysis, as described by Graneheim and Lundman, was applied to analyse data. Results We identified four categories: (1) living a physical active life with schizophrenia, (2) exercise as promotor of personal recovery, (3) prescribing safe and relevant exercise, and (4) instructors’ qualifications and formation. Conclusions When developing sustainable community-based exercise programmes tailored to young adults with schizophrenia, developers should ensure instructors’ qualifications and provide an exercise protocol. In addition, developers should consider providing an inclusive and recovery-oriented exercise environment. Key messages What is already known on this topic What this study adds How this study might affect research, practice or policy ### Competing Interest Statement BHE is part of the Advisory Board of Eli Lilly Denmark A/S, Janssen-Cilag, Lundbeck Pharma A/S, and Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Ltd; and has received lecture fees from Bristol-Myers Squibb, Boehringer Ingelheim, Otsuka Pharma Scandinavia AB, Eli Lilly Company, and Lundbeck Pharma A/S. MFAN, KR, AR, BSR and JM declare no competing interests. ### Funding Statement The study was funded by TrygFonden (Grant No.: 151603) ### Author Declarations I confirm all relevant ethical guidelines have been followed, and any necessary IRB and/or ethics committee approvals have been obtained. Yes The details of the IRB/oversight body that provided approval or exemption for the research described are given below: The Regional Ethics Committee of Northern Denmark has confirmed that no formal ethical approval was required (2023000206) for the current study. I confirm that all necessary patient/participant consent has been obtained and the appropriate institutional forms have been archived, and that any patient/participant/sample identifiers included were not known to anyone (e.g., hospital staff, patients or participants themselves) outside the research group so cannot be used to identify individuals. Yes I understand that all clinical trials and any other prospective interventional studies must be registered with an ICMJE-approved registry, such as I confirm that any such study reported in the manuscript has been registered and the trial registration ID is provided (note: if posting a prospective study registered retrospectively, please provide a statement in the trial ID field explaining why the study was not registered in advance). Yes I have followed all appropriate research reporting guidelines, such as any relevant EQUATOR Network research reporting checklist(s) and other pertinent material, if applicable. Yes All data produced in the present study are available upon reasonable request to the authors
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