Is sport an untapped resource for recovery from first episode psychosis? A narrative review and call to action

Lauren E. Brooke, Ashleigh Lin, Nikos Ntoumanis, Daniel F. Gucciardi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

7 Citations (Scopus)
111 Downloads (Pure)


Aim: The objective of this narrative review is to address the question: Should sport-based life skills interventions be developed for young people recovering from first episode psychosis?. Methods: A prose was developed through a broad, critical narrative review of literatures on (1) first episode psychosis recovery (FEP); and (2) life skills and sport, highlighting the conceptual (and limited empirical) links between the two. This style of review allowed for a critical examination of evidence from seemingly distinct literatures to address a question yet to be explored empirically. Results: The review process highlighted important overlaps between psychosis recovery and sport. A review of the FEP recovery literature reveals that important components of an individual's recovery following a psychotic episode are: (1) physical activity, (2) opportunities to build life skills, and (3) social connectivity. A review of the sport and life skills literature suggests that sport can be a powerful platform from which to: (1) promote physical activity, (2) teach life skills, and (3) foster social connectivity within vulnerable populations. Despite the clear links between the two fields, mental health interventions that combine both life skills training components and physical activity in a context that promotes social connectivity are scarce to none. Conclusions: We suggest that sport-based interventions could be an opportunity to provide life skills training, social connectivity and physical activity opportunities in one intervention to individuals recovering from their first psychotic episode. We call for their development, and provide empirically-based recommendations for intervention design.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)358-368
Number of pages11
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2019

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