The Effects of “VelaMente?!” Project on Social Functioning of People With Severe Psychosocial Disabilities
Federica Sancassiani1, *, Stefano Lorrai1, Giulia Cossu1, Alessio Cocco1, Giuseppina Trincas2, Francesca Floris1, Gisa Mellino1, Sergio Machado3, 4, Antonio Egidio Nardi3, Elisabetta Pascolo Fabrici, Antonio Preti1, 2, Mauro Giovanni Carta1, 2
1 Department of Medical Sciences and Public Health, University of Cagliari, Cagliari, Italy.
2 Center of Liaison Psychiatry and Psychosomatic, University Hospital, Cagliari, Italy.
3 Laboratory of Panic and Respiration, Institute of Psychiatry of Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (IPUB/UFRJ), Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil
4 Physical Activity Neuroscience, Physical Activity Sciences Postgraduate Program - Salgado de Oliveira University, Niterói, Brazil
Physical activity helps to improve several clinical outcomes of people with severe psychosocial disabilities. The aims of this study were; 1) to assess the efficacy of a psychosocial rehabilitative intervention focused on sailing in a crew on: a) social functioning; b) severity of the psychosocial disability; c) general functioning; d) dysregulation of biorhythms of people with severe psychosocial disabilities, and 2) to evaluate the attenders’ satisfaction about the project.
A randomized waitlist controlled trial with parallel groups was carried out involving 51 people with severe psychosocial disabilities. The intervention was a 3 months-lasting course to learn sailing in a crew. Just after the randomization, a group began the sailing course and the other group (wait list) attended the sailing course after 3 months of treatments as usual. Before and after the sailing course, as well as the waiting list period, all attenders were assessed by HoNOS, GAF, CGI-S and BRIAN. At the end of the sailing course, they completed also a self-report satisfaction questionnaire.
Social functioning significantly improved after the sailing course (HoNOS total score “time X group”: p=0.011), mainly because of the improvement of psychopathological symptoms (HoNOS symptoms score “time X group”: p=0.003). Furthermore, participants greatly appreciated the rehabilitative program based on sailing in a crew.
When compared to more traditional rehabilitative activities that are usually carried out in mental health services, a psychosocial rehabilitative intervention based on sailing in a crew significantly improve the social functioning of people with severe psychosocial disabilities.
Keywords: Sailing, Sport, Physical activity, Personal recovery, Psychosocial rehabilitation, Social functioning, Stigma.
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* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Medical Science and Public Health, University of Cagliari, SS554, 09042 Monserrato (Cagliari), Italy; Tel: +39 349 3119215; E-mail email@example.com *“Techniques for the Psychiatric Rehabilitation” Degree Course, University of Trieste, Italy.