The Effects of “VelaMente?!” Project on Social Functioning of People With Severe Psychosocial Disabilities

Clinical Practice & Epidemiology in Mental Health 24 Nov 2017 RESEARCH ARTICLE DOI: 10.2174/1745017901713010220



Physical activity helps to improve several clinical outcomes of people with severe psychosocial disabilities. The aims of this study were; 1) to assess the efficacy of a psychosocial rehabilitative intervention focused on sailing in a crew on: a) social functioning; b) severity of the psychosocial disability; c) general functioning; d) dysregulation of biorhythms of people with severe psychosocial disabilities, and 2) to evaluate the attenders’ satisfaction about the project.


A randomized waitlist controlled trial with parallel groups was carried out involving 51 people with severe psychosocial disabilities. The intervention was a 3 months-lasting course to learn sailing in a crew. Just after the randomization, a group began the sailing course and the other group (wait list) attended the sailing course after 3 months of treatments as usual. Before and after the sailing course, as well as the waiting list period, all attenders were assessed by HoNOS, GAF, CGI-S and BRIAN. At the end of the sailing course, they completed also a self-report satisfaction questionnaire.


Social functioning significantly improved after the sailing course (HoNOS total score “time X group”: p=0.011), mainly because of the improvement of psychopathological symptoms (HoNOS symptoms score “time X group”: p=0.003). Furthermore, participants greatly appreciated the rehabilitative program based on sailing in a crew.


When compared to more traditional rehabilitative activities that are usually carried out in mental health services, a psychosocial rehabilitative intervention based on sailing in a crew significantly improve the social functioning of people with severe psychosocial disabilities.

Keywords: Sailing, Sport, Physical activity, Personal recovery, Psychosocial rehabilitation, Social functioning, Stigma.
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