This study examined the experience, perceptions, and knowledge of physical therapists who work within mental health services regarding barriers to and facilitators of physical activity among people with schizophrenia.
A total of 151 physical therapists, members of the International Organization of Physical Therapists in Mental Health, completed an online survey. Data-driven and concept-driven content analysis was conducted with the responses.
The most frequently cited barriers were patients’ lack of motivation (45% of respondents) and a lack of priority given to physical activity by other health care professionals (28%). The most frequently cited facilitators included the provision of esteem support by health care professionals (28%) and the promotion of enjoyment and autonomy for the patient (25%).
When promoting physical activity among individuals with schizophrenia, health care professionals who work in mental health settings should provide an individual approach, taking into account patient-related and situational factors.