Factors that influence participation in physical activity for anxiety or depression: a synthesis of qualitative evidence

Clare McCartan, Jade Yap, Joseph Firth, Brendon Stubbs, Mark Tully, Paul Best, Paul Webb, Chris White, Simon Gilbody, Rachel Churchill, Josefien Breedvelt, Gavin Davidson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
199 Downloads (Pure)


This is a protocol for a Cochrane Review (Qualitative). The objectives are as follows:. Main objective: To identify the factors that create barriers or facilitate physical activity for people with a diagnosis of anxiety or depression from the perspectives of service users, carers, service providers and practitioners to help inform the design and implementation of interventions that promote physical activity. The overall aim of this review is to identify, appraise, and synthesise qualitative research evidence on the barriers and facilitators to engaging in physical activity in general lifestyle settings or as part of an intervention designed to increase physical activity for people with anxiety and depression. This will allow us to identify factors that create barriers and facilitators of physical activity in this population to inform the development, design, and implementation of future interventions. We will also integrate the findings from the QES with the two associated effectiveness reviews (Cooney 2014; Larun 2006). We will communicate our findings to public health commissioners and other stakeholders.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberCD013547
JournalCochrane Database of Systematic Reviews
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 4 Mar 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This review will inform research funded by the Disability Research on Independent Living and Learning (DRILL), which will involve the development of a co-produced physical activity intervention for people with lived experience of severe and enduring mental illness. CMcC was funded for 0.5 days per week over a three-month period to develop this protocol. We thank the Cochrane Qualitative & Implementation Methods Group for providing guidance during protocol development; and the editorial team of the Cochrane Common Mental Disorders (CCMD) Group including Sarah Dawson (Information Specialist) who helped develop the search strategies, Jessica Hendon and Sarah Hetrick. The authors and the CCMD Editorial Team, are grateful to the peer reviewers for their time and comments including: Alan Bailey, Karen Morley, and Jane Noyes. They would also like to thank copy editor, Lisa Winer. Cochrane Group funding acknowledgement: The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) is the largest single funder of the Cochrane Common Mental Disorders Group. Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the NIHR, National Health Service (NHS), or the Department of Health and Social Care.

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2020 The Cochrane Collaboration. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • agoraphobia
  • panic disorder
  • separation anxiety
  • obsessive compulsive disorder
  • selective mutism
  • post traumatic stress disorder


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