Viviane Batista Cristiano*, Michele Fonseca Szortyka, Paulo Belmonte-De-Abreu
Background: Schizophrenia has disabling effects over mental and physical integrity involving changes in posture and flexibility, which reduce mobility, autonomy, and quality of life. Physical activity has been tested with uncertain effects in schizophrenia, mostly due to trial design, methodology, comparison groups, intervention length, and attrition. Inconsistency led to poor dissemination of active interventions in this population, which may benefit these individuals’ health.
Objective: To evaluate the response of two different protocols: Aerobic and Functional exercises, in two groups of sedentary adult-patients with the diagnosis of schizophrenia and healthy controls.
Methods: A clinical trial of two standardized physical interventions in adults diagnosed with schizophrenia and healthy controls. Posture was assessed by digital photogrammetry with the aid of a software and the flexibility by the Wells Fargo’s Test.
Results: A total of 38 individuals completed the intervention, with 24 in Aerobic group and 14 in Functional group. The groups were homogeneous for gender, weight, and body mass index, with small differences in age and height. Posture and Flexibility changed according to group and intervention. In this study, guided physical activity improved posture and flexibility in both groups, with higher effect of the Functional protocol than the Aerobic protocol in cases and controls.
Conclusions: Despite a preliminary and relatively small sample size, the study evidences the feasibility and clinical utility of physical intervention in schizophrenia. Additional data about specific adaptations in schizophrenia are needed to improve outcomes, such as individualized assistance, support, instructions and intensity.