Consensus statement on the role of Accredited Exercise Physiologists within the treatment of mental disorders: a guide for mental health professionals
Objective: The aim is to identify the role and scope of Accredited Exercise Physiologist (AEP) services in the mental health sector and to provide insight as to how AEPs can contribute to the multidisciplinary mental health team.
Methods: A modified Delphi approach was utilised. Thirteen AEPs with experience in mental health contributed to the iterative development of a national consensus statement. Six mental health professionals with expertise in psychiatry, mental health nursing, general practice and mental health research participated in the review process. Reviewers were provided with a template to systematically provide feedback on the language, content, structure and relevance to their professional group.
Results: This consensus statement outlines how AEPs can contribute to the multidisciplinary mental health team, the aims and scope of AEP-led interventions in mental health services and examples of such interventions, the range of physical and mental health outcomes possible through AEP-led interventions and common referral pathways to community AEP services.
Outcome: AEPs can play a key role in the treatment of individuals experiencing mental illness. The diversity of AEP interventions allows for a holistic approach to care, enhancing both physical and mental health outcomes.