There is a need for theoretically-based research on the motivational processes linked to the commencement and continuation of physical activity in patients with schizophrenia. Within the Self-Determination Theory (SDT) framework, we investigated the SDT tenets in these patients by examining the factor structure of the Behavioral Regulation in Exercise Questionnaire-2 (BREQ-2) and by investigating associations between motivation and PA. The secondary aim was to study differences in motivation according to gender, educational level, treatment setting and disease stage. A total of 129 patients (44♀) with schizophrenia agreed to participate. Exploratory factor analysis showed sufficient convergence with the original factor for amotivation, external and introjected regulation, while identified and intrinsic regulations loaded on a single factor which we labeled "autonomous regulation". Significant positive correlations were found between the total physical activity score and the subscales amotivation (r = -0.44, P < 0.001), external regulation (r = -0.27, P < 0.001), and autonomous regulation (r = 0.57, P < 0.001). Outpatients reported more external (P < 0.05) and introjected (P < 0.05) regulations than inpatients. Our results suggest that patients' level of self-determination may play an important role in the adoption and maintenance of health promoting behaviors in patients with schizophrenia.
Keywords: Exercise; Motivation; Physical activity; Schizophrenia; Self determination.
© 2013 Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.