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Br J Sports Med. 2014 Feb;48(3):226-32. doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2013-092510. Epub 2013 Jul 6.

ACTIVEDEP: a randomised, controlled trial of a home-based exercise intervention to alleviate depression in middle-aged and older adults.

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  • 1Western Australia Centre for Health & Ageing (Centre for Medical Research) and, School of Psychiatry & Clinical Neurosciences, University of Western Australia, , Perth, Australia.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To evaluate the efficacy of a home-based exercise programme added to usual medical care for the treatment of depression.

DESIGN:

Prospective, two group parallel, randomised controlled study.

SETTING:

Community-based.

PATIENTS:

200 adults aged 50 years or older deemed to be currently suffering from a clinical depressive illness and under the care of a general practitioner.

INTERVENTIONS:

Participants were randomly allocated to either usual medical care alone (control) or usual medical care plus physical activity (intervention). The intervention consisted of a 12-week home-based programme to promote physical activity at a level that meets recently published guidelines for exercise in people aged 65 years or over.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASUREMENTS:

Severity of depression was measured with the structured interview guide for the Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale (SIGMA), and depression status was assessed with the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis I Disorders (SCID-I).

RESULTS:

Remission of depressive illness was similar in both the usual care (59%) and exercise groups (63%; OR = 1.18, 95% CI 0.61 to 2.30) at the end of the 12-week intervention, and again at the 52-week follow-up (67% vs 68%) (OR=1.07, 95% CI 0.56 to 2.02). There was no change in objective measures of fitness over the 12-week intervention among the exercise group.

CONCLUSIONS:

This home-based physical activity intervention failed to enhance fitness and did not ameliorate depressive symptoms in older adults, possibly due to a lack of ongoing supervision to ensure compliance and optimal engagement.

KEYWORDS:

Aging; Exercise; Exercise rehabilitation; Intervention efficacy; Physical activity promotion in primary care

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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