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Physical activity for adolescents with severe mental illness: A systematic scoping review

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journal contribution
posted on 16.12.2020, 16:55 by Justine Anthony, Florence KinnafickFlorence Kinnafick, Anthony PapathomasAnthony Papathomas, Kieran Breen
Adolescents with severe mental illness (SMI) engage in lower levels of physical activity (PA), a modifiable risk factor for poor physical health. Although PA is associated with physical and psychological benefits in adult SMI populations, few studies focus exclusively on adolescents. This systematic scoping review aimed to identify the characteristics, outcomes, and feasibility of studies which have attempted to engage or increase PA in adolescents with SMI. Web of Science, PsycINFO, PubMed and psycARTICLES were used to identify articles published between 2007-2019. PRISMA guidelines were followed in reporting the results. Ten studies, with a total of 281 participants (mean age: 16.1 ± 0.72) met the inclusion criteria. Seven studies aimed to yield improvements in the primary diagnosis in addition to other clinical outcome measures. Five studies adopted a 3x weekly schedule, though exercise modality, duration and intensity varied. Seven found improvements in the primary diagnosis, with five reporting sustained improvement at follow-up. Participant completion of the intervention ranged between 73-90%. Adolescents with SMI will adhere to and experience a range of positive outcomes from a range of exercise modalities and intervention lengths. However, significant heterogeneity between studies limits conclusions with that can be drawn regarding beneficial outcomes and feasibility.



  • Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences

Published in

International Review of Sport and Exercise Psychology


Taylor & Francis (Routledge)


AM (Accepted Manuscript)

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© Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group

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This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in International Review of Sport and Exercise Psychology on 25 Oct 2020, available online:

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Dr Florence Kinnafick. Deposit date: 5 October 2020