The transcending benefits of physical activity for individuals with schizophrenia: a systematic review and meta-ethnography

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


  • Paul Freeman
  • Brendon Stubbs
  • Michel Probst
  • Pete Coffee
  • Davy Vancampfort

Colleges, School and Institutes


A systematic review and meta-ethnographic synthesis exploring the experiences of people with schizophrenia and healthcare professionals (HCPs) towards physical activity was undertaken. Major electronic databases were searched from inception until January 2014. Studies were eligible if they considered the experiences and perceptions of people with schizophrenia or the perceptions of HCPs towards physical activity. All included studies were synthesised within a meta-ethnographic approach, including completing a methodological quality assessment. The search strategy identified 106 articles, 11 of which were included in the final analysis. Eight articles considered patients׳ experiences and perceptions, and three articles considered the experiences and perceptions of HCPs. A total of 108 patients and 65 HCPs were included. Three main themes were identified: (1) the influence of identity, culture and the environment on physical activity engagement, (2) access and barriers to participation in physical activity, and (3) the benefits of engaging in physical activity. Aspects within the built, social and political environment as well as aspects of social cognition and perceptual biases influence participation in physical activity for individuals with schizophrenia. Specific recommendations for HCPs are given to help promote physical activity in this population group.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-19
JournalPsychiatry Research
Issue number1-2
Early online date9 Aug 2014
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2014


  • Physical activity, Review, Qualitative