Faculty Publications and Other Works -- Nursing

Source Publication

Clinical Schizophrenia and Related Psychoses

Document Type


Publication Date

January 2009


Persons with schizophrenia spectrum disorders (SSDs) are not only at risk because of disabling disease symptoms but because necessary medications create health risks associated with high rates of obesity. Despite the well-known benefits of exercise, persons with SSDs rarely adhere to such regimens; few interventions to motivate exercise behavior have been tested in this group.

The purpose of this study is to examine effects of the Walk, Address sensations, Learn about exercise, Cue exercise behavior for persons with SSDs (WALC-S) motivational intervention upon exercise behavior. We will recruit a total of eighty outpatients 18–68 years, meeting these criteria: 1) chart diagnosis of schizophrenia, any subtype, schizoaffective disorder or schizophreniform disorder, according to the criteria described in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders, 2) English speaking, 3) Stable medication regimen (defined as no medication changes within the last month), and 4) medical clearance for moderate exercise in writing from primary care provider. Participants will be randomly assigned to the experimental (4-week WALC-S motivational intervention), or the control group (4-week time and attention control). After the first 4 weeks, all participants will attend a 16-week walking group.

The primary measures of the effectiveness of the WALC-S are attendance, persistence and compliance to the 16-week walking group. The study will be completed in approximately January 2010. In addition to hypothesis testing, this study will provide information to estimate effect sizes to calculate power and determine appropriate sample sizes for future inquiries. This paper describes the rationale and design of the study.

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