Psych patient’s new primary prescription

Hi guys,

I chose an article that was published 2 days ago on Science Daily. It summarized a new study that recently came out by Tomasi et. al., called “Positive Patient Response to a Structured Exercise Program Delivered to in-patient Psychiatry.” When it comes to the treatment of psychiatric patients for a wide variety of mental health and mood disorders, including anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, suicidal tendencies and acute psychotic episodes, this new study advocates for exercise, rather than psychotropic medications, as the primary prescription and method of intervention. Findings from the study reveal that physical exercise is so effective at alleviating patient symptoms that it could reduce patient’s time admitted into facilities as well as their reliance of psychotropic medications. It was so effective in fact, that Tomasi believes “it can become as fundamental as pharmacological intervention”. A gym was built exclusively for about 100 patients and 60-minute structured exercise and nutrition programs were implemented into their treatment plans. Patients reported lower levels of anger, anxiety, depression, higher self-esteem, and overall improved moods. 95 percent of patients also felt happy or very happy, as opposed to neutral or sad, after they completed the 60 minutes of exercise.


I thought this was a super cool article, a. because it is recent so this kinds of research is happening today, but b. because something as easy as getting moving can naturally make people with mental health problems feel better. A lot of pharmacological answers to mood disorders have other serious and harmful effects on a person’s lifestyle. Implementing something as simple as an exercise regiment can make people feel better without being dependent on medications.


If you want to read the actual study I will post it below!

David Tomasi, Sheri Gates, Emily Reyns. Positive Patient Response to a Structured Exercise Program Delivered in Inpatient PsychiatryGlobal Advances in Health and Medicine, 2019; 8: 216495611984865 DOI: 10.1177/2164956119848657

2 thoughts on “Psych patient’s new primary prescription

  1. I think this is really interesting because if this is the new method of treatment it could actually open up an entire job market for personal trainers, nutritionists, and strength coaches in a psychiatric hospital setting. Especially working with therapists these exercise professionals could have a role in not just teaching people how to work out and have a healthy lifestyle, but be a part of their therapy. I think we’ll see a lot more of this in hospitals and rehab centers as the trend moves away from pharmaceuticals and towards holistic health.

  2. This is interesting because a doctors first response is usually medication. But, maybe from this research that may not always have to be the first option! I think the “runners high” could really help improve the moods of psych patients and that the consistent workout can cause them to lose weight and just feel better about themselves. It may not be an option for everyone due to physical conditions but it could be really nice to have less psych patients on medication and admitted to facilities as soon.

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