Exercise in the Treatment of Eating Disorders
Exercise is not a standard adjunct treatment for people suffering from eating disorders, as it is mainly viewed as a part of the pathology or as a method of weight loss for a proportion of this population. Without further evidence, reframing physical activity in terms of how it benefits patients will be a challenge for clinicians. In this study, records on equine activity (the most commonly used exercise component) at a residential treatment facility for eating disorders were examined to determine type, duration, and intensity of physical activities, as well as perceived psychological well-being. Patient demographics and clinical instrument scores provided further data to explore how this physical activity was associated with clinical outcomes. This study suggests that this type of exercise was not detrimental in the treatment of eating disorders. Study findings may help clinicians to identify those patients who would benefit the most from physical activities. Furthermore, the positive association of physical activity with improved mood and eating disorder symptoms adds to the literature on the role of exercise in eating disorders intervention.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2011-07-01
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