The Effects of a Group Exercise Intervention in the Adjunctive Treatment of Clinical Depression

by Abt, Kristie Lynne

Abstract (Summary)
The purpose of this investigation was to evaluate the influence of a 6-week group exercise intervention in the adjunctive treatment of depression. A total of thirty-one subjects were recruited from WPICs Bellefield Clinic of the Adult Service Line and the surrounding community. Subjects were between the ages of 25 and 60 years, had a diagnosis of depression (dysthymic disorder, major depressive disorder, depressive disorder not otherwise specified, or bipolar disorder) according to the DSM-IV by a licensed therapist, and were enrolled in a standardized outpatient treatment program consisting of antidepressant medication and psychotherapy. Subjects were randomly assigned to either a 6-week exercise group intervention or a social control group (stress coping intervention). Groups were matched for group exposure, meeting for one hour, two nights a week. The IDS-SR was used to assess changes in depressive symptoms as a result of the intervention at 0 and 6-weeks. Additionally, the Q-LES-Q and the Revised UCLA Loneliness Scale were used to assess changes in quality of life and feelings of loneliness, respectively, as a result of the intervention at 0 and 6-weeks. The main hypothesis was that subjects randomized to the group exercise intervention would experience a significant decrease in depressive symptoms, as assessed by the IDS-SR, and a significant increase in quality of life, as assessed by the Q-LES-Q, when compared to the social control group. An additional hypothesis was that subjects in the group exercise intervention and the social control group would experience a significant and equal decrease in feelings of loneliness as assessed by the Revised UCLA Loneliness Scale. Statistical analysis included separate two-way (group x time) repeated measures ANOVA to determine between and within group mean differences on the IDS-SR, Q-LES-Q, and the Revised UCLA Loneliness Scale. Results indicated that subjects in the group exercise intervention and the social control group experienced a decrease in symptoms of depression, whereas no significant differences in either group for quality of life or feelings of loneliness were found. Results were the same for the intent-to-treat analysis and the non-intent-to-treat analysis. It was concluded that social interaction may have contributed to the positive findings concerning symptoms of depression.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:Bruce S. Rabin, MD, PhD; Elizabeth Nagle-Stilley, PhD; Richard D. Day, PhD; Fredric L. Goss, PhD; Michael Thase, MD; Robert J. Robertson, PhD; Kathleen I. Sward, PhD

School:University of Pittsburgh

School Location:USA - Pennsylvania

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:health physical and recreation education


Date of Publication:08/08/2005

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