Skip to main content

How do you exercise with epilepsy? Insights into the barriers and adaptations to successfully exercise with epilepsy.

Collard, S. and Ellis-Hill, C., 2017. How do you exercise with epilepsy? Insights into the barriers and adaptations to successfully exercise with epilepsy. Epilepsy & Behavior, 70 (A), 66 - 71.

Full text available as:

BarriersAdaptationEpilepsyBehavCollardEllisHill2017.pdf - Accepted Version


DOI: 10.1016/j.yebeh.2017.03.004


Exercise has been shown to be a physiological and psychological benefit for people with epilepsy (PWE). However, barriers prevent many PWE from exercising safely and confidently. This research explored current perceived barriers to exercise and adaptation techniques used by PWE in order to maintain physical activity levels. Three focus groups (2-3 participants per group) and three semi-structured interviews were conducted (11 participants total). Constructive grounded theory was used to frame the study and analyse the findings, presenting new insight into the motivation, perceived barriers, and adaptation techniques used to exercise. The main motivator to maintain physical activity levels was the benefit of exercise on physical and mental health. This was shown in an increase in mood, higher social interaction, and perceived improvement in overall physical health as a result of exercise. Current barriers to exercise included a fear of injury, lack of social support, and exercise-induced seizures (e.g., through overheating and/or high exercise intensity level). Adaptation techniques used were self-monitoring through the use of technology, reducing exercise frequency and intensity level, and exercising at certain times of the day. The importance of social support was shown to provide increased confidence and positive encouragement to exercise, contrasting with family and friends worrying for his/her safety and medical professionals requesting termination of some physical activities. These findings provide new insight into current adaptation techniques that are used and developed by PWE to overcome common barriers to exercise. These new additions to the literature can lead to further development of such techniques as well as examine current medical professionals' knowledge of the benefits of exercise for PWE.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Adaptation; Barriers; Epilepsy; Exercise; Psychosocial; Qualitative
Group:Faculty of Health & Social Sciences
ID Code:28970
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:24 Apr 2017 15:12
Last Modified:14 Mar 2022 14:04


Downloads per month over past year

More statistics for this item...
Repository Staff Only -