Associations of Schizophrenia Symptoms and Neurocognition With Physical Activity in Older Adults With Schizophrenia

Heather Leutwyler, Erin M. Hubbard, Dilip V. Jeste, Bruce Miller, Sophia Vinogradov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Low levels of physical activity contribute to the generally poor physical health of older adults with schizophrenia. The associations linking schizophrenia symptoms, neurocognition, and physical activity are not known. Research is needed to identify the reasons for this population's lack of adequate physical activity before appropriate interventions can be designed and tested. Design and Methods: In this cross-sectional study, 30 adults aged ≥ 55 years with schizophrenia were assessed on symptoms (Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale), neurocognition (MATRICS Consensus Cognitive Battery), and physical activity (Sensewear ProArmband). Pearson's bivariate correlations (two-tailed) and univariate linear regression models were used to test the following hypotheses: (1) more severe schizophrenia symptoms are associated with lower levels of physical activity and (2) more severe neurocognitive deficits are associated with lower levels of physical activity. Results: Higher scores on a speed-ofprocessing test were associated with more average daily steps (p = .002) and more average daily minutes of moderate physical activity (p = .009). Higher scores on a verbal working memory task were associated with more average daily minutes of moderate physical activity (p = .05). More severe depressive symptoms were associated with more average daily minutes of sedentary activity (p = .03). Conclusion: Physical activity interventions for this population are imperative. In order for a physical activity intervention to be successful, it must include components to enhance cognition and diminish psychiatric symptoms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23-30
Number of pages8
JournalBiological Research For Nursing
Volume16
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This work was supported by the UCSF Academic Senate (Individual Investigator Grant), National Center for Research Resources (KL2R024130 to H.L. & UCSF-CTSI UL1 RR024131), and the National Institute of Nursing Research (P30-NR011934-0).

Keywords

  • neurocognition
  • physical activity
  • schizophrenia
  • symptomatology

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