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Physical performance and physical activity of patients under compulsory forensic psychiatric inpatient care.

Journal article
Authors Henrik Bergman
Thomas Nilsson
Peter Andiné
Alessio Degl'Innocenti
Roland Thomeé
Annelie Gutke
Published in Physiotherapy theory and practice
Pages 1-9
ISSN 1532-5040
Publication year 2018
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Health and Rehabilitation
Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Psychiatry and Neurochemistry
Centre for Ethics, Law, and Mental Health
Pages 1-9
Language en
Keywords Forensic psychiatry; mental disorder; motor activity; physical therapy specialty; exercise; physical fitness
Subject categories Psychiatry, Physiotherapy


Research stresses the importance of physical activity in general psychiatric care. There is very little research made in the area of forensic psychiatric care. The aim of this exploratory, cross-sectional study was to assess various physical, psychological, and health variables of patients under compulsory forensic psychiatric inpatient care, and to examine correlations among these variables. Maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max), walking ability, running speed, and explosive leg strength were examined in 28 patients. Patients answered questionnaires about physical activity, aggression, stress, character maturity, and health-related quality of life (HRQL). The patients had a mean age of 33.6 years, a mean VO2max of 25.3 (8.4) mL 02/min/kg and a mean physical activity level of 268.0 (272.4) min/week. Results from the 6-min walk test were 612.5 (102.8) m. Nine patients had physical activity levels below the international recommendations of 150 min/week. Levels of aggression and stress were high and HRQL was low. The results indicate that patients in forensic psychiatric care are in a very poor physical state, which warrants physiotherapeutic interventions, adapted to the unique demands of forensic psychiatric care.

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