Researchers at Catholic University Leuven, in Belgium, reviewed the evidence for physical therapy in people with schizophrenia.

First, the details.

10 studies were included in the review.

  • 6 studies addressed the use of aerobic and strength exercises.
    • In 2 of these studies, yoga techniques also were investigated.
  • 4 studies addressed the use of progressive muscle relaxation.

And, the results.

  • There’s evidence that aerobic and strength exercises and yoga reduce psychiatric symptoms, anxiety and psychological distress, and improve health-related quality of life.
  • Aerobic exercise improves short-term memory.
  • Progressive muscle relaxation reduces anxiety and psychological distress.

The bottom line?

The authors concluded, “Physical therapy offers added value in the multidisciplinary care of people with schizophrenia.”

The differences between studies in terms of design and the small number of patients studies, say the researchers, make it necessary to conduct additional studies to confirm these findings.

11/6/11 18:48 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.