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J Clin Nurs. 2012 Apr;21(7-8):923-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2702.2011.03972.x.

Influence of exercise on mood in postmenopausal women.

Author information

1
Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Granada, Granada, Spain. carmenvg@ugr.es

Abstract

AIM AND OBJECTIVE:

To evaluate the influence of an exercise programme on postmenopausal women with symptoms of anxiety and depression.

BACKGROUND:

The menopause is a period of hormonal changes when mood variations are probably more severe than at any other period of women's lives.

DESIGN:

Prospective study with control group and pre- and post-treatment measures, after six months treatment. Conducted at two healthcare clinics, in the province of Granada (Spain).

METHODS:

A convenience sample of 60 postmenopausal women aged 60-70 years, with symptoms of depression and anxiety, was recruited. The women were randomly divided into two groups: (1) control group, no treatment (n = 30); (2) exercise group, which carried out a programme of mixed physical exercises with musical support (n = 30). All subjects answered questionnaires for the Hamilton Anxiety Scale and the Brink and Yesavage Geriatric Depression Scale before and after treatment.

RESULTS:

In the exercise group, statistically significant improvements were observed in subjects with moderate and severe depression (18 and 22%, respectively) and in those with symptoms of anxiety. No such changes were observed in the control group.

CONCLUSIONS:

A controlled programme of physical exercise for postmenopausal women alleviates symptoms of anxiety and depression, and its inclusion in primary healthcare programmes should be considered.

RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE:

Menopausal women may benefit from physical exercise, which attenuates the effects of the physiological and psychological changes associated with the menopause and prevents pathologic changes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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