A physical activity intervention in a community alcohol service



Ussher M, McCusker M, Morrow V & Donaghy M (2000) A physical activity intervention in a community alcohol service. British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 63 (12), pp. 598-604.

People recovering from alcohol-related or drug-related problems are often in poor physical condition and have an extremely sedentary lifestyle. This article describes a study in which an occupational therapist in a community alcohol service implemented a physical activity intervention. The aim of the intervention was for clients with substance misuse problems to increase independent physical activities, to engage more in community-based activities, to increase their awareness of the benefits of exercise and to perceive benefits in their health following the programme. Seven people attended a 6-week programme consisting of nine sessions. Each session included an exercise class and group-based physical activity counselling. Case studies for five of the participants are presented. It was shown that it is possible for an intervention combining physical activity counselling with supervised and independent exercise to have an impact on the lives of a few individuals with substance misuse problems. Four of the five participants made substantial gains in all the target areas relating to independence, integration, education and health. It was also shown that it is feasible for an occupational therapist to play a pivotal role in promoting fitness-oriented activities for those with substance misuse problems. Controlled studies are required with larger samples, longer follow-up periods and the comparison of different intervention elements.

British Journal of Occupational Therapy: Volume 63, Issue 12

Publication date31/12/2000

People (1)


Professor Michael Ussher

Professor Michael Ussher

Professor of Behavioural Medicine, Institute for Social Marketing