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Efficacy of Baduanjin Exercise and Feasibility of Mobile Text Reminders on Follow-up Participation in People With Severe Mental Illness

An Exploratory Study

CHEN, MING-DE, PhD; YEH, YA-CHIN, MS; TSAI, YI-JUNG, PhD; CHANG, YEN-CHING, PhD; YU, JUNE-WEI; HSU, CHING-HUI, MS

Journal of Psychiatric Practice®: May 2016 - Volume 22 - Issue 3 - p 241–249
doi: 10.1097/PRA.0000000000000158
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Background: People with severe mental illness (SMI) frequently have poor physical health, which can in part be related to a low level of physical activity. The goal of this exploratory study was to examine the efficacy of a group participating in Baduanjin (a type of traditional Chinese exercise) on the health of individuals with SMI and the feasibility/acceptability of using short message service (SMS) reminder strategies to prompt continued exercise during a follow-up period.

Method: Participants (N=11) participated in a Baduanjin group session for 8 weeks and then maintained home-based Baduanjin with SMS reminders for another 8 weeks. Physical and psychological tests were administered to participants.

Results: Significant improvements were found in balance and processing speed and in some domains of the 36-Item Short Form Health Survey (SF-36) after the Baduanjin program. Participants were able to maintain engagement in 80% of the expected practice time during the follow-up period. The acceptability of strategies to support home-based exercise, including SMS reminders, was high.

Conclusions: This preliminary study suggested the efficacy of Baduanjin and the feasibility of SMS reminders in maintaining follow-up participation in people with SMI. Future studies using a larger sample size and a control group are needed to confirm the findings.

CHEN, TSAI, and YU: Department of Occupational Therapy, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan

YEH: Department of Occupational Therapy, Shu-Zen Junior College of Medicine and Management, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan

CHANG: Department of Occupational Therapy, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan City, Taiwan

YU: Department of Psychiatry, Chung-Ho Memorial Hospital, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan

HSU: Division of Physical Education, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan

Supported in part by the Department of Sports, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan, and by the Ministry of Science and Technology, Taiwan (MOST- 102-2410-H-037-014).

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Please send correspondence to: Ching-Hui Hsu, MS, Division of Physical Education, Kaohsiung Medical University, 100, Shih-Chuan 1st Road, Kaohsiung City 80708, Taiwan (e-mail: hsu88@kmu.edu.tw).

Ya-Chin Yeh, MS, and Yi-Jung Tsai, PhD, were equal contributors to this manuscript.

Copyright © 2016 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.