Trends in Psychiatry and Psychotherapy
Trends in Psychiatry and Psychotherapy
Original Article

Barriers and facilitators perceived by people with bipolar disorder for the practice of exercise: a qualitative study

Barreiras e facilitadores percebidos por pessoas com transtorno bipolar para a prática de exercício físico: um estudo qualitativo

Caroline Silveira Pereira; Carolina Stopinski Padoan; Lucas França Garcia; Lucas Patusco; Pedro V. S. Magalhães

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Abstract Introduction Exercising regularly has benefits for people with bipolar disorder. Nevertheless, as a group, these patients tend to be less physically active than the general population and little is known from the viewpoint of the patients about the barriers and facilitators to such a practice. Objective To know the barriers and facilitators perceived by people with bipolar disorder for the practice of exercise. Methods This study had a descriptive, qualitative, exploratory nature. The investigation method used for data collection was a semi-structured in-depth interview, using grounded theory as theoretical framework. Results The data analysis generated two main areas of interest: adherence to regular physical exercise (barriers and facilitators) and the participants’ exercise history and perception of disease management, as described below. The main findings were: most of our sample did not exercise regularly, nor knew how exercise can positively influence their disorder; with regard to adherence to physical exercise, the presence of symptoms and stigma were the most important barriers to the practice of physical exercise. Social support, especially from family and friends, could be a facilitator to the practice of exercise. Conclusions Even considering the limitations for generalization of qualitative and exploratory studies, understanding perceived barriers and facilitators for the practice of exercise among people who suffer with bipolar disorder may contribute to the promotion of activities in which people with mental illness can participate.


Mood disorders, exercise, walking


Resumo Introdução A prática regular de exercício físico tem benefícios para pessoas com transtorno bipolar. No entanto, como grupo, esses pacientes tendem a ser mais sedentários do que a população geral, e pouco se sabe do ponto de vista dos pacientes sobre as barreiras e facilitadores para tal prática. Objetivo Conhecer as barreiras e facilitadores percebidos por pessoas com transtorno bipolar para a prática de exercício. Métodos Este foi um estudo descritivo, qualitativo e exploratório. O método de investigação utilizado na coleta de dados foi entrevista semiestruturada em profundidade, segundo a grounded theory. Resultados A análise dos conteúdos que surgiram nas entrevistas gerou duas principais áreas de interesse: adesão ao exercício físico regular (barreiras e facilitadores) e a história de exercícios dos participantes e a percepção do manejo da doença. Os principais achados foram: a maioria da nossa amostra não se exercitava regularmente, nem mesmo sabia como a prática regular podia influenciar positivamente sua doença; em relação à adesão ao exercício físico, a presença dos sintomas e do estigma foram as barreiras mais importantes para praticar o exercício físico. O apoio social, especialmente da família e dos amigos, pode ser um facilitador da adesão ao exercício. Conclusões Apesar das limitações de um estudo qualitativo e exploratório, conhecer as barreiras e os facilitadores percebidos para a prática de exercício entre pessoas que sofrem de transtorno bipolar pode facilitar a promoção de atividades onde essas pessoas possam participar e se beneficiar efetivamente.


Transtornos do humor, exercício, caminhada


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