The Atwood Hall Health Promotion Program, Federal Medical Center, Lexington, KY. Effects on drug-involved federal offenders.
ABSTRACT There is a critical need for the development of effective substance abuse and dependence treatment programs in prisons and jails. One aspect of treatment provision within this population that has received insufficient research attention is the inclusion of health promotion or wellness programs, including exercise and other health-related lifestyle modification training. Little is known about either the physiological or psychological consequences of such lifestyle modification programs among prisoners with substance use disorders. This study reports the effectiveness of an experimental wellness program included as part of a residential treatment unit in a federal correctional institute in the United States. A sample of 43 female offenders with a history of polysubstance abuse or dependence, who had volunteered to be part of a residential drug treatment program, were evaluated. Changes in health status and perceived psychological well-being between entry into the program and exit after maintaining participation for a minimum of 9 months were assessed. Pretest-posttest comparisons on a variety of physiological parameters indicated that significant improvements had occurred in the physical fitness of the group. Thematic analysis of qualitative self-reports by inmates exiting the program suggested that participants had also experienced significant enhancements in a number of areas pertaining to psychological well-being, including self-esteem, health awareness and concerns, healthy lifestyle adoption, and relapse prevention skills. These results suggest that including health promotion training in drug treatment programs for incarcerated offenders may have beneficial results.
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ABSTRACT: To test whether older drug users (aged 40 and over) could be recruited to an exercise referral (ER) scheme, to evaluate the feasibility and acceptability and measure the impact of participation on health. Observational pilot. Liverpool, UK. (1) 12 men and 5 women recruited to ER. (2) 7 specialist gym instructors. Logistic feasibility and acceptability of ER and associated research, rate of recruitment, level of participation over 8 weeks and changes in health. 22 gym inductions were arranged (recruitment time: 5 weeks), 17 inductions were completed and 14 participants began exercising. Attendance at the gym fluctuated with people missing weeks then re-engaging; in week 8, seven participants were in contact with the project and five of these attended the gym. Illness and caring responsibilities affected participation. Participants and gym instructors found the intervention and associated research processes acceptable. In general, participants enjoyed exercising and felt fitter, but would have welcomed more support and the offer of a wider range of activities. Non-significant reductions in blood pressure and heart rate and improvements in metabolic equivalents (METs; a measure of fitness) and general well-being were observed for eight participants who completed baseline and follow-up assessments. The number of weeks of gym attendance was significantly associated with a positive change in METs. It is feasible to recruit older drug users into a gym-based ER scheme, but multiple health and social challenges affect their ability to participate regularly. The observed changes in health measures, particularly the association between improvements in METs and attendance, suggest further investigation of ER for older drug users is worthwhile. Measures to improve the intervention and its evaluation include: better screening, refined inclusion/exclusion criteria, broader monitoring of physical activity levels, closer tailored support, more flexible exercise options and the use of incentives.BMJ Open 05/2013; 3(5). · 2.06 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The current study examined relations between physical activity and proactive and reactive aggression. Additionally, physical activity was examined as a potential moderator of the associations between these subtypes of aggression and peer delinquency. Relations were examined in a community recruited sample of 89 children (56% male, 74% Caucasian) ranging from 9 to 12years of age (M = 10.44, SD = 1.14). As expected, physical activity was negatively related to proactive aggression and unrelated to reactive aggression. Moreover, physical activity moderated the relation between proactive aggression and peer delinquency, such that at high levels of physical activity, proactive aggression was unrelated to peer delinquency but at low levels of physical activity, proactive aggression was positively associated with peer delinquency. Thus, physical activity may be an important factor to consider when understanding the link between aggression and other problem behavior, as physical activity appears to impact the link between proactive aggression and delinquent peer affiliations. KeywordsProactive and reactive aggression–Physical activity–Peer delinquencyJournal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment 01/2011; 33(1):11-18. · 1.55 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: A growing body of literature has demonstrated that physical exercise is associated with favorable mental health outcomes. Exercise has the potential to be an accessible and affordable adjunct treatment option for persons with alcohol use disorders (AUD); however, exercise-based interventions have rarely been applied to this population. The authors examine the potential role of physical exercise in the process of recovery from AUD. Possible physiological, psychological, and social mechanisms whereby exercise may exert influence on alcohol use outcomes are outlined. Studies examining the effects of physical exercise on alcohol and other addictive behaviors are reviewed, and the viability of structured, exercise-based adjunct interventions for AUD populations is discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)Professional Psychology Research and Practice 01/2003; 34(1):49-56. · 1.34 Impact Factor