The physical activity profiles of patients with persecutory delusions
Diamond R., Bird JC., Waite F., Bold E., Chadwick E., Collett N., Freeman D.
Background: Severe paranoia is likely to limit engagement in physical activities. In this study we set out to examine for the first time the activity profiles of patients with current persecutory delusions and the associations with psychiatric symptoms. Method: Seventy-five patients with persecutory delusions in the context of non-affective psychosis wore a pedometer for seven days. Participants completed measures of meaningful activity, mobility, and psychiatric symptoms. Latent class analysis was used to identify physical activity profiles. Results: Three distinct activity profiles emerged: a mobile but inactive group (n = 47, 63%) (mean daily step count = 6453, SD = 3348), an immobile and inactive group (n = 20, 27%) (mean daily step count = 4205, SD = 2442), and a mobile and active group (n = 8, 11%) (mean daily stepcount = 18396, SD = 5715). The groups did not significantly differ in their levels of paranoia, anhedonia, psychological wellbeing, insomnia, beliefs about self or others, or safety-seeking behaviours. There were significant group differences in depression and number of physical health appointments, with the immobile and inactive group showing higher levels of both. There were indications of group differences in body mass index, hours worked, hallucinations, and worry. Conclusion: There are likely to be different physical activity profiles for patients with current psychotic experiences. The majority of people with persecutory delusions are physically inactive, but a small minority are highly active. In those patients who have low activity levels, there is a potentially important distinction in self-reported mobility, which warrants further investigation. Treatments designed to improve physical activity levels may need to tailor by activity profile.