Journal of affective disorders vol:145 issue:3 pages:285-291
BACKGROUND: Existing studies do suggest that physical activity interventions may be feasible and have a role in promoting mental and physical health in patients with bipolar disorder. The present review evaluates systematically quantitative studies of correlates of physical activity in patients with bipolar disorder. METHODS: We searched EMBASE, PsycINFO, PubMed, and CINAHL from their inception, combining the medical subject headings 'bipolar disorder' or 'mania' or 'manic depression' with 'physical activity' or 'physical inactivity' or 'exercise'. RESULTS: Out of 40 potentially eligible studies, 11 papers evaluating 26 correlates were included. Correlates that were associated with lower physical activity participation were lower self-efficacy, presence of medical co-morbidity, lower educational status and social isolation. Less consistent variables associated with lower physical activity participation included higher BMI, older age, financial strains, not being connected to a health care service, and minority ethnicity. A larger study sample size was related to a higher proportion of significant associations (p=0.04). Current gaps in literature which need to be examined more in detail are the role of psychiatric symptoms, environmental and policy-level factors. LIMITATIONS: The diversity of physical activity measures and subject samples prevented us to perform a meta-analysis. CONCLUSIONS: All significant correlates should be confirmed in prospective studies and interventions to improve the modifiable variables should be developed and evaluated. The reviewed data also demonstrate that validation studies on physical activity measurements are highly needed.