Journal of Human Sport and Exercise

Multilateral methodology in physical education improves coping skills, resilience and physical fitness in drug addicts

Francesco Fischetti, Stefania Cataldi, Piergiorgio Di Terlizzi, Gianpiero Greco



Drug addiction may cause health problems and social exclusion. Therefore, we investigated the effects of 8-week multilateral physical education intervention (i.e., aerobic-anaerobic exercise at moderate-intensity plus behavioural training), as an adjunct to treatment for drug dependent patients, on psychological and physical fitness variables. 34 male participants (19-71 years) were assigned to an experimental group (n = 17) that performed multilateral intervention, or a control group (n = 17) that did not. At baseline and after 8-week, COPE-NVI, CD-RISC and physical fitness tests assessed coping skills, resilience and fitness levels. Adherence to exercise was 100% and, after intervention, significant improvements (p < .05) in the skills and strategies adopted to cope with stressful events and ability to deal with negative experiences were found. In addition, the physical fitness components as static and dynamic balance, anaerobic power and coordination, and endurance of the upper body musculature significantly improved (p < .05) in experimental group. Findings highlighted the positive relationship between increased physical fitness and improved functional and adaptive modalities used to cope with stressful events and negative experiences. Therefore, multilateral intervention could improve mental and physical wellbeing in drug addicts by proving to be a key tool in promoting social inclusion.


Social inclusion; Physical activity; Self-efficacy; Life quality; Wellbeing


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