Substance use disorder: evaluating the effectiveness of the Addiction Recovery Coaching exercise programme.

Gary Rutherford, Iain McGowan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Substance use disorder is a major public health issue and there is limited evidence of the effectiveness of current pharmacological and psychosocial treatment approaches. The Addiction Recovery Coaching (ARC) programme uses exercise in conjunction with mental health nursing interventions to support recovery from substance use disorder.
This article details a service evaluation undertaken to evaluate the effectiveness of the ARC exercise programme in a small sample of patients with substance use disorder. The intervention ran over six weeks and consisted of group exercise and one-to-one coaching sessions. Quantitative data were collected before, during and after the intervention using patient-reported outcome measures for recovery from drug and alcohol dependence, as well as clinical measures of anxiety and depression. Qualitative data were collected using a post-intervention online questionnaire.
The evaluation found improvements in patient-reported outcome measures, reductions in symptoms of depression and anxiety, and the development of positive social contacts between participants. These findings offer promising evidence supporting the addition of exercise regimens to ongoing mental health interventions for the treatment of substance use disorder.
Original languageEnglish
JournalMental Health Practice
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 07 Jan 2021


  • addiction, alcohol, behaviour change, clinical, exercise, health promotion, lifestyles, mental health, outcome measures, patients, patient outcomes, professional, public health, substance misuse


Dive into the research topics of 'Substance use disorder: evaluating the effectiveness of the Addiction Recovery Coaching exercise programme.'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this