Physical activity and mental health in individuals with multimorbidity during COVID-19: an explanatory sequential mixed-method study

Leire Ambrosio (Lead / Corresponding author), James Faulkner, Jacqui H. Morris, Beth Stuart, Danielle Lambrick, Eric Compton, Mari Carmen Portillo

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Abstract

Objective: To understand the physical activity and mental health of individuals living with long-term conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Design: A sequential explanatory mixed-methods study with two phases: phase 1: quantitative survey and phase 2: qualitative follow-up interviews.

Setting: For the quantitative phase, an online survey was launched in March 2021, using Microsoft Forms. For the qualitative phase, in-depth semistructured interviews were conducted via online.

Participants: 368 adults over 18 years old living in the UK with at least one long-term condition completed the survey. Interviews were conducted in a subsample of participants from the previous quantitative phase, with 26 people. Data were analysed using thematic analysis.

Results: Responses from the survey showed that people with one long-term condition were significantly more physically active and spent less time sitting, than those with two or more conditions, presenting with significantly higher well-being (p<0.0001), and lower levels of anxiety (p<0.01), and depression (p<0.0001). Interviews found that people developed a range of strategies to cope with the impact of changeability and the consequences of their long-term condition on their physical activity.

Conclusions: The number of long-term conditions influenced physical activity and how people coped with their condition during COVID-19. Findings will inform policy developments in preparation for future pandemics to support and remain people to remain physically active and mental health.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere079852
Number of pages13
JournalBMJ Open
Volume14
Issue number4
Early online date25 Apr 2024
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2024

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • chronic disease
  • mental health
  • nursing care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine

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