Effects of a Group-Based Aerobic Exercise Program on the Cognitive Functions and Emotions of Substance Use Disorder Patients: a Randomized Controlled Trial

Ting Zhu, Weiji Tao, Bo Peng, Rui Su, Dongshi Wang*, Cheng Hu, Yu Kai Chang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

To examine, from behavioral perspectives, the feasibility of applying group-based aerobic exercise as an adjunct to treatment aimed at improving the cognitive functions and emotions of substance use disorder (SUD) patients. Eighty-three male methamphetamine use disorder patients recruited through an isolated detoxification centers (IDCs) were assigned into either an exercise group or control group. The exercise group participated in a group-based aerobic exercise intervention involving moderate-intensity exercises for 3 months. The cognitive functions, emotions, drug cravings, and physical fitness of the patients in both groups were measured at the baseline, 1 months, 2 month, and 3 months time points. After the 3 months intervention, the exercise group exhibited significant improvements in SSRT, HAMA and BDI scores, and physical fitness scores (i.e., BMI, vital capacity, flexibility, and balance) relative to the control group. Furthermore, the exercise group exhibited significantly reduced VAS scores for craving in comparison to the control group after only 2 months of the intervention. The 3 months group-based aerobic exercise program showed beneficial effects for cognitive functions, emotions, cravings, and physical fitness among SUD patients (i.e., methamphetamine use disorder patients), and can thus be considered as a potential therapeutic candidate for addiction rehabilitation.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Mental Health and Addiction
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • Cognitive function
  • Craving
  • Emotion
  • Group-based aerobic exercise
  • Physical fitness
  • Substance use disorders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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