Exercise based interventions for alcohol use disorder: A comment on motivational aspects of participation

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Exercise based treatment for alcohol use disorders have shown an impact on mental health (e.g., depression or anxiety), and alcohol outcomes (e.g., craving or abstinence). However, there is a lack of information on the role of motivational aspects of participation in the process of designing exercise interventions for alcohol use disorder. This study aims to examine: (1) whether motivational aspects are taken into account when the type and delivery method of exercise interventions are chosen; (2) whether motivational aspects are taken into account post intervention; and (3) whether there are different traditions regarding payment for participants. A systematic search was conducted to identify eligible studies in order to investigate the impact of motivational aspects including payment for participation. Twelve samples including ten to 620 participants were investigated. Participants were predominantly male and in their 40s, ranging from 20 to 69 years. Aerobic exercise (running, walking, fitness) either in a group or individual condition is the most frequently used exercise form. Two studies included ball games or cycling, while only one study offered the opportunity to choose between a wide range of sports. Motivational aspects are mentioned explicitly in half of the studies, mostly with regard to adherence to participation and social integration as the reason for using a group condition. Achievement is mentioned in two studies but not explicitly with regard to planning the intervention design. Five studies include payment for participation in exercise. Findings of the present study identify that motivational aspects for participation are rarely involved in the planning of an exercise intervention. With regard to the specific psychosocial vulnerability of an alcohol use disorder population, this should be an important aspect of further research studies.

TidsskriftScandinavian Journal of Psychology
Udgave nummer1
Sider (fra-til)23-28
StatusUdgivet - feb. 2017


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