A short term behaviour change intervention that enables people with larger bodies to engage in physical activity, specifically swimming.
PHE ePoster Library. Pursey H. 09/12/19; 274522; 8
Heather Pursey
Heather Pursey
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Abstract
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Abstract Introduction
People with obesity experience stigma regarding their physical appearance and internalised weight stigma is associated with high levels of exercise avoidance. Specialist Weight Management/Bariatric Surgery staff observed that patients express a desire to go swimming to improve their health but report a range of psychological barriers preventing them from doing so.This pilot study explored whether a brief Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) informed intervention led to increased willingness to go swimming.MethodEligible patients (n=7) received two, two hour classroom sessions and two sessions at a local swimming pool, facilitated by a Chartered Physiotherapist and a Clinical Psychologist over 4 weeks. Change in psychological flexibility relating to weight related distress and obesity stigma was measured using the Acceptance and Action Questionnaire for Weight Related Difficulties (AAQ-W).
Results
All seven participants successfully got in the pool. The mean length of time participants last swam for health was seven years (SD = 5.6, range=1 to 18 years). Self-rated confidence to go swimming increased by 60% and AAQ-W scores reflecting the impact of weight-related-distress and stigma reduced from 57 to 45.Participant's feedback acknowledged the challenging nature of the intervention and described how participant's felt able to overcome barriers that previously prevented them from taking action to improve their health.
Conclusion
This pilot study highlights the potential benefit of an ACT informed short term experiential intervention to increase engagement in physical activity.Further research is needed in a larger population to evaluate the long term efficacy of this intervention. External funding details N/A
Abstract Introduction
People with obesity experience stigma regarding their physical appearance and internalised weight stigma is associated with high levels of exercise avoidance. Specialist Weight Management/Bariatric Surgery staff observed that patients express a desire to go swimming to improve their health but report a range of psychological barriers preventing them from doing so.This pilot study explored whether a brief Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) informed intervention led to increased willingness to go swimming.MethodEligible patients (n=7) received two, two hour classroom sessions and two sessions at a local swimming pool, facilitated by a Chartered Physiotherapist and a Clinical Psychologist over 4 weeks. Change in psychological flexibility relating to weight related distress and obesity stigma was measured using the Acceptance and Action Questionnaire for Weight Related Difficulties (AAQ-W).
Results
All seven participants successfully got in the pool. The mean length of time participants last swam for health was seven years (SD = 5.6, range=1 to 18 years). Self-rated confidence to go swimming increased by 60% and AAQ-W scores reflecting the impact of weight-related-distress and stigma reduced from 57 to 45.Participant's feedback acknowledged the challenging nature of the intervention and described how participant's felt able to overcome barriers that previously prevented them from taking action to improve their health.
Conclusion
This pilot study highlights the potential benefit of an ACT informed short term experiential intervention to increase engagement in physical activity.Further research is needed in a larger population to evaluate the long term efficacy of this intervention. External funding details N/A
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