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Study Protocol ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Psychol. | doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.02564

The effect of high-intensity interval/circuit training on cognitive functioning and quality of life during recovery from substance abuse disorder. A study protocol.

 Oeyvind Andreassen1, 2*,  Kolbjørn Brønnick3, Anne-Lill M. Njå2,  Einar Furulund2 and Sverre M. Nesvåg2
  • 1Salvation Army Treatment Center Stavanger (FAB), Norway
  • 2Centre for Alcohol & Drug Research, Stavanger University Hospital, Norway
  • 3University of Stavanger, Norway

This proposed study will examine whether structured physical activity reduces the recovery time of cognitive functioning during the early phase of substance use disorder treatment. Addiction or substance dependence is associated with neurobiological changes and cognitive impairment that can affect quality of life and the efficacy of therapy for up to a year after clinical detoxification. The biological, psychological, and social effects of physical exercise have the potential to be a therapeutic approach to increasing quality of life and relieving symptoms associated with substance abuse, such as psychosis, depression, and anxiety. There is a dearth of research on physical activity and exercise in clinical substance use disorder patients. This protocol describes a clinical study that will examine cognitive recovery after substance abuse using physical exercise as a treatment intervention. We will use a quasi-experimental longitudinal clinical trial, with a pretest and multiple posttests, on naturally randomized sequential groups. Patients will be consecutively be recruited into the study groups, with a control group followed by an intervention group, each with 30 patients. Patients will be enrolled 2 weeks after the start of detoxification, at which time all subjects will be inpatients at the Stavanger Salvation Army Treatment Center in the Norwegian specialized healthcare system. Cognition will be evaluated with a comprehensive battery of cognitive tests, including several tests of executive function. Physical fitness will be tested with the Rockport 1-Mile Walk Test, the 30-Second Chair Stand Test, the 1-Minute Burpee Test and with tests for the presence of primitive reflexes at baseline (within the first 2 weeks of admittance) and after 4 weeks. The intervention will be a 30-minute workout at 70–90% of maximum heart rate (134–170 bpm), recorded and calculated by a Polar heart rate monitor. The intervention treatment will be four times a week for 4 weeks and will consist of high-intensity circuit training, high-intensity interval training, functional movement, and primitive reflex training. We anticipate improvement in both the control and intervention groups, with the exercise intervention group having the greatest increase in recovery of cognitive function

Keywords: Physical activity (exercise), high-intensity interval training (HIIT), High-intensity circuit training, Brain health, neurocognition, Substance use disorder (SUD) treatment

Received: 24 Jul 2019; Accepted: 30 Oct 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Andreassen, Brønnick, Njå, Furulund and Nesvåg. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Mr. Oeyvind Andreassen, Salvation Army Treatment Center Stavanger (FAB), Stavanger, Norway, oyandreassen@gmail.com