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Volume : 1 Issue : 2 Year : 2023

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The Effects of Aerobic Exercises on Psychiatric Symptoms and Physical Fitness in Children Exposed to Sexual Abuse [BAU Health Innov]
BAU Health Innov. 2023; 1(2): 72-83 | DOI: 10.14744/bauh.2024.68077

The Effects of Aerobic Exercises on Psychiatric Symptoms and Physical Fitness in Children Exposed to Sexual Abuse

Tuğçe Bilgiç1, Ebru Kaya Mutlu2, Hacer Eşref Atik Tosunlar3, Caner Mutlu4
1Department of Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation, Bahcesehir University, Istanbul, Türkiye
2Department of Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation, Bandirma Onyedi Eylul University, Bandırma, Balıkesir, Türkiye
3Child Follow-up Center, Bakırköy Prof. Dr. Mazhar Osman Mental Health and Neurological Diseases Training and Research Hospital, Istanbul, Türkiye
4Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Uludağ University, Bursa, Türkiye

INTRODUCTION: Child sexual abuse is an issue that has become evident throughout the world in recent years and requires attention in its treatment. For this purpose, we investigated the effects of aerobic exercises used in physiotherapy on some findings related to post-traumatic stress such as depression and anxiety and on aerobic endurance, flexibility, and muscular endurance associated with physical fitness in the treatment of children exposed to sexual abuse.
METHODS: The research was carried out at the Child Advocacy Center affiliated by the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Clinic within Istanbul Bakırköy Prof. Dr. Mazhar Osman Mental Health and Neurological Diseases Training and Research Hospital. The study was planned in three groups and 34 cases were included. Groups were stated as control, home exercise, and physiotherapist-guided exercise for 12 weeks. Depression (Children Depression Inventory), anxiety (The Screen for Child Anxiety Related Disorders), post-traumatic stress responses (Child Post-traumatic Stress Reaction Index), cardiovascular capacity (6-min walk test-6 [MWT]), endurance (1-Minute Sit-up and Push-Up Tests), flexibility (Sit-and-Reach Test) and quality of life (Quality of Life Scale for Children-QoL-C) parameters were evaluated at before and after treatment.
RESULTS: As a result; significant improvements were observed in 6 MWT in all groups; for anxiety, sit and push-ups, and quality of life in the exercise group; for sit and lie in exercise and home exercise groups (p<0.05). In comparison between groups, the exercise group was found superior to the others in anxiety and quality of life and to the control group in 6 MWT and psychosocial health (p<0.05).
DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: Aerobic exercise can be used safely in the treatment of children victims of sexual abuse. Due to the superiority of the physiotherapist-guided group, it can be preferred first.

Keywords: Adolescent, aerobic exercise, depression, sexual abuse.

Tuğçe Bilgiç, Ebru Kaya Mutlu, Hacer Eşref Atik Tosunlar, Caner Mutlu. The Effects of Aerobic Exercises on Psychiatric Symptoms and Physical Fitness in Children Exposed to Sexual Abuse. BAU Health Innov. 2023; 1(2): 72-83

Corresponding Author: Ebru Kaya Mutlu, Türkiye
Manuscript Language: English