What about sport and physical exercise in substance use disorder recovery?

Life Skills Development

Perceptions of individuals under SUD recovery

It is well established that sport is a learning environment that provides favorable conditions for positive psychosocial development. The purpose of the study was to describe clients’ perceptions regarding the connection between sport and physical exercise (PE) participation and positive life skills development. In this mixed-method research approach study, 774 clients from a total of twenty-nine organizations, from nine European countries, completed self-report tools, nineteen interviews, and five focus groups (31 participants) were conducted. Data collection took place from September 2020 to May 2021. Quantitative and qualitative analysis revealed that skills of communication, time management, teamwork, and leadership were among the most frequent life skills identified by clients. Additionally, goal-setting skills are considered an important life skill to practice during sport practice, because it supports clients’ commitment to their therapeutic goals and their increased sense of control over the personal progress that is made based on their goals (sport and therapy-related). The results of the current study are promising, as they can contribute to the appropriate planning and promotion of sport and PE interventions, adapted to the development of life skills of individuals undergoing SUD treatment, contributing to their sustainable recovery.


Read the full study here