Physical Activity Counseling and Prescription in Psychiatry: Swedish Mental Health Professionals’ Clinical Practices, Attitudes, and Knowledge




Olofsgård, Madeleine Jennysdotter

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Physical activity as an intervention for mental health and disorders is gaining increasing attention. The intent of this exploratory study was to investigate the levels of Swedish mental health professionals’ physical activity counseling, their use of counseling methods, as well as their attitudes toward and knowledge about this therapy. A non-experimental, cross-sectional survey design was used to structure the descriptive and correlational assessment of the 529 participating professionals working in the Stockholm County Council Healthcare Division. Nearly all participants used physical activity at least sometimes as an adjunctive therapy for the purpose of treating and preventing mental disorders. Physical activity counseling was found to be correlated with the use of counseling methods, attitudes, and knowledge. Further, there were significant differences among types of care and professions with regard to key study variables (Frequency, Behavior, Attitudes, and Knowledge of physical activity counseling). Implications for future research and practice are noted.



Physical activity counseling, Mental health professionals, Attitudes, Psychiatry, Clinical practices, Knowledge