Is Sport an Untapped Resource for Recovery from First Episode Psychosis? A Call to Action

Poster A48, Monday, October 8, 11:30 am - 1:00 pm, Essex Ballroom

Lauren Brooke1, Daniel Gucciardi1, Ashleigh Lin2, Nikos Ntoumanis3; 1School of Physiotherapy and Exercise Science, Curtin University, 2Telethon Kids Institute, The University of Western Australia, Perth, WA, 3School of Psychology, Curtin University

Concentrated functional recovery efforts post first-psychotic episode are critical to manage both positive and negative psychotic symptoms, mitigate side-effects of antipsychotic medications, and promote long-term recovery We present the potential utility of sport-based life-skills interventions to support the functional recovery of young people who have experienced first episode psychosis (FEP). This argument is based on our recent narrative review of literatures on (i) first episode psychosis recovery and (ii) life-skills training through sport, that highlights the conceptual (and limited empirical) links between the two. We show in that review that the important components of an individual’s recovery following a psychotic episode are physical activity, opportunities to build life-skills, and social connectivity. A review of the sport and life-skills literature suggests that sport can be a powerful platform from which to teach life-skills, foster social connectivity, and promote physical activity within vulnerable populations. Despite these links, mental health interventions that combine both life-skills training components and physical activity in a context that promotes social connectivity are scarce to none. We suggest that sport-based interventions could be an opportunity to foster functional recover by providing life-skills training, social connectivity, and physical activity opportunities in one intervention to individuals recovering from their first psychotic episode. We urge a call to action for the development and implementation of such interventions, and provide empirically-based recommendations for intervention development.

Topic Area: First Episode Psychosis

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