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Open Access Open Badges Study protocol

Physical exercise as a supplement to outpatient treatment of alcohol use disorders – a randomized controlled trial

Sengül Sari1*, Randi Bilberg1, Kurt Jensen1, Anette Søgaard-Nielsen2, Bent Nielsen3 and Kirsten K Roessler1

Author Affiliations

1 Institute of Psychology, University of Southern Denmark, Campusvej 55, Odense M 5230, Denmark

2 National Institute of Public Health, University of Southern Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark

3 Department of Psychiatry, Odense University Hospital, Odense, Denmark

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BMC Psychology 2013, 1:23  doi:10.1186/2050-7283-1-23

Published: 31 October 2013



Alcohol use disorder is a widespread problem in Denmark and has severe impacts on health and quality of life of each individual. The clinical treatment of alcohol use disorder involves evidence-based knowledge on medical treatment, physical training, and psychological management. The aim of this study is to investigate the effect of physical exercise on alcohol intake, cardio-respiratory fitness and socio-psychological outcomes.


The study is a randomized controlled trial with three arms: (A) Standard treatment alone, (B) Standard treatment and physical exercise in groups, or (C) Standard treatment and physical exercise on an individual basis. The patients will fill a questionnaire and they will be tested at baseline, and after 6 and 12 months.


If this study detects a positive relationship between exercise as a supplement to alcohol treatment and patients’ alcohol intake, quality of life, fitness, well-being, anxiety, depression and interpersonal problems, it will be recommended to implement exercise as an offer to users of the outpatient clinic in the future.

Trial registration

Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN74889852.