Self-reported health and physical activity among community mental healthcare users

Authors


O. Lassenius, Akademin för hälsa, vård och välfärd, Mälardalens högskola, Box 883, 721 23 Västerås, Sweden, E-mail: oona.lassenius@ki.se

Abstract

Accessible summary

  • • The aim of the study was to get a picture of the self-reported health and physical activity among persons with psychiatric disabilities who were community healthcare users in a community in Sweden. This was carried out through a questionnaire.
  • • Out of 319 eligible persons, 103 persons answered the questionnaire. The answers from the questionnaire showed that this group has a high impact of unhealthy risk factors, such as excess weight, low amount of physical activity and a low perceived state of health.
  • • About 20% of the participants wanted help with filling out the questionnaire. This was because of difficulties apprehending some of the questions. Helping these participants with the answering process showed complications with this given questionnaire but also highlighted the special considerations related to cognitive difficulties entailed with mental illness. This underlines the need for reflection upon what questions we ask, to whom and how.
  • • The results of this study point out that persons with psychiatric disabilities constitute a vulnerable group, in need of adequate health-promoting activities based upon the individual's conditions.

Abstract

The aim of the study was to survey the self-reported health and physical activity in a sample of community mental healthcare users in a city of Sweden. The study was conducted through a cross-sectional design with participants requested to fill out a self-report questionnaire. Participants (n = 103) were persons with psychiatric disabilities living in residential psychiatric settings and/or participating in daily activities provided by community mental healthcare services. The results showed that the group is affected with serious risk factors, such as high body mass index, low rated extent and frequency of physical activity and low self-estimated general state of health. Even though some difficulties associated with the answering process of this questionnaire emerged, these self-reported results clearly confirm the fact that persons with psychiatric disabilities constitute a vulnerable group in need for health-promoting caring activities and interventions.

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