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Qualitative evaluation of a football intervention for people with mental health problems in the north east of London

Friedrich, B; Mason, OJ; (2018) Qualitative evaluation of a football intervention for people with mental health problems in the north east of London. Mental Health and Physical Activity , 15 pp. 132-138. 10.1016/j.mhpa.2018.10.002. Green open access

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Abstract

In recent years, football has seen increasing popularity as an adjunct intervention for people with mental health problems, aiming at improving their physical and emotional health as well as fostering their social inclusion and integration. Previous quantitative and qualitative studies have shown that football interventions can contribute to emotional and physical recovery as well as offer a context for people to connect to others and foster social skills. In the present study, qualitative interviews were conducted with thirty participants and five stakeholders involved in the London based football intervention, Coping Through Football (CTF). These aimed to capture their experiences of the intervention, as well as to gain an understanding of challenges and difficulties that participants have encountered there. Themes evidenced the strong impact of relational experiences which led to increased confidence and social skills. Both physical exercise and lifestyle advice also had a positive impact on physical well-being and lifestyle choices. Different paths to recovery were reported: participants benefitted from the intervention in very individual ways that depended on personal needs and motivation. The answers to the interview questions given by the participants as well as stakeholders highlighted problems surrounding recruitment and inclusion of women, on pitch conflicts and different levels of fitness and level of play. Overall, the findings underline the potential of football interventions as an adjunct treatment form that can lead to increased physical, emotional and social well-being of people with mental health problems as well as challenges that need to be addressed in the planning and implementation of such interventions.

Type: Article
Title: Qualitative evaluation of a football intervention for people with mental health problems in the north east of London
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.mhpa.2018.10.002
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mhpa.2018.10.002
Language: English
Additional information: Published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/
Keywords: Football, Soccer, Mental health, Qualitative research, Recovery, Physical activity
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Health Informatics
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10071436
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