Effect of exercise on depression severity in older people: systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials.

Warwick Clinical Trials Unit, Division of Health Sciences, Warwick Medical School, The University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL, UK. .
The British journal of psychiatry: the journal of mental science (Impact Factor: 6.62). 09/2012; 201:180-5. DOI: 10.1192/bjp.bp.111.095174
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The prevelance of depression in older people is high, treatment is inadequate, it creates a substantial burden and is a public health priority for which exercise has been proposed as a therapeutic strategy.
To estimate the effect of exercise on depressive symptoms among older people, and assess whether treatment effect varies depending on the depression criteria used to determine participant eligibility.
Systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials of exercise for depression in older people.
Nine trials met the inclusion criteria and seven were meta-analysed. Exercise was associated with significantly lower depression severity (standardised mean difference (SMD) = -0.34, 95% CI -0.52 to -0.17), irrespective of whether participant eligibility was determined by clinical diagnosis (SMD = -0.38, 95% CI -0.67 to -0.10) or symptom checklist (SMD = -0.34, 95% CI -0.62 to -0.06). Results remained significant in sensitivity analyses.
Our findings suggest that, for older people who present with clinically meaningful symptoms of depression, prescribing structured exercise tailored to individual ability will reduce depression severity.

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    ABSTRACT: Despite the positive effects of physical activity on numerous aspects of health, many older adults remain sedentary even after participating in physical activity interventions. Standardized exercise programs do not necessarily bring about the behavioral change that is necessary. Therefore, a patient-centered approach is needed. The purpose of this study was to develop and assess the acceptability and potential effectiveness of the Coach2Move strategy; a physical therapy (PT) approach aimed at improving the long-term level of physical activity in mobility-limited older adults. The Coach2Move strategy was developed on the basis of 2 systematic literature studies and expert consultations. Multiple focus group meetings and a Delphi procedure were organized to gain consensus on the Coach2Move strategy. Acceptability and potential effectiveness were studied in a pilot study with a pre-/postdesign in which 2 physical therapists and 12 patients participated. To assess acceptability, patients were interviewed, discussion with the involved physical therapists was held, and health records were studied. Potential effectiveness was tested measuring the level of physical activity, frailty, quality of life, and mobility before and after treatment. On the basis of the literature study and expert consultations, an algorithm based on the Hypothesis Oriented Algorithm for Clinicians Part II was developed: the Coach2Move approach. Key elements of the Coach2Move approach include an extensive intake using motivational interviewing, clinical reasoning, coaching to increase physical activity and self-management, focusing on meaningful activities, and working according to 3 patient-tailored intervention profiles with a predefined number of sessions. The pilot study showed high appraisal of the strategy by both physical therapists and patients. Moreover, a potential effect on the level of physical activity, frailty, quality of life, and mobility was observed. Because the pilot study was not randomized or controlled and included a small sample, no conclusions can be drawn about the effectiveness of the Coach2Move strategy. However, all suggestions made in this study were implemented in an ongoing, randomized controlled trial in which the Coach2Move strategy will be compared to usual care PT. In conclusion, the Coach2Move strategy can be considered acceptable in PT practice and showed potential benefits. The results on the (cost-)effectiveness of this strategy based on a large, randomized, controlled trial are expected in 2014.This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivitives 3.0 License, where it is permissible to download and share the work provided it is properly cited. The work cannot be changed in any way or used commercially.
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    ABSTRACT: The increasing proportion of older adults in the population is expected to lead to an increased prevalence of age-related diseases, including cognitive decline and impairment. It is imperative to find affordable and effective methods for improving cognitive and brain function throughout the life span. Research reviewed in this article suggests that physical activity and exercise have the potential for improving cognitive function and taking advantage of the capacity of the brain for plasticity in late adulthood. Promising evidence from studies examining the effect of physical activity and exercise on brain health indicates the need for further research in this area.
    Topics in Geriatric Rehabilitation 01/2014; 30(1):8-14. DOI:10.1097/TGR.0000000000000008 · 0.14 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background Fear of falling is common in older people and associated with serious physical and psychosocial consequences. Exercise (planned, structured, repetitive and purposive physical activity aimed at improving physical fitness) may reduce fear of falling by improving strength, gait, balance and mood, and reducing the occurrence of falls. Objectives To assess the effects (benefits, harms and costs) of exercise interventions for reducing fear of falling in older people living in the community. Search methods We searched the Cochrane Bone, Joint and Muscle Trauma Group Specialised Register (July 2013), the Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL 2013, Issue 7), MEDLINE (1946 to July Week 3 2013), EMBASE (1980 to 2013 Week 30), CINAHL (1982 to July 2013), PsycINFO (1967 to August 2013), AMED (1985 to August 2013), the World Health Organization International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (accessed 7 August 2013) and Current Controlled Trials (accessed 7 August 2013). We applied no language restrictions. We handsearched reference lists and consulted experts. Selection criteria We included randomised and quasi-randomised trials that recruited community-dwelling people (where the majority were aged 65 and over) and were not restricted to specific medical conditions (e.g. stroke, hip fracture). We included trials that evaluated exercise interventions compared with no intervention or a non-exercise intervention (e.g. social visits), and that measured fear of falling. Exercise interventions were varied; for example, they could be 'prescriptions' or recommendations, group-based or individual, supervised or unsupervised. Data collection and analysis Pairs of review authors independently assessed studies for inclusion, assessed the risk of bias in the studies and extracted data. We combined effect sizes across studies using the fixed-effect model, with the random-effect model used where significant statistical heterogeneity was present. We estimated risk ratios (RR) for dichotomous outcomes and incidence rate ratios (IRR) for rate outcomes. We estimated mean differences (MD) where studies used the same continuous measures and standardised mean differences (SMD) where different measures or different formats of the same measure were used. Where possible, we performed various, usually prespecified, sensitivity and subgroup analyses. Main results We included 30 studies, which evaluated 3D exercise (Tai Chi and yoga), balance training or strength and resistance training. Two of these were cluster-randomised trials, two were cross-over trials and one was quasi-randomised. The studies included a total of 2878 participants with a mean age ranging from 68 to 85 years. Most studies included more women than men, with four studies recruiting women only. Twelve studies recruited participants at increased risk of falls; three of these recruited participants who also had fear of falling. Poor reporting of the allocation methods in the trials made it difficult to assess the risk of selection bias in most studies. All of the studies were at high risk of performance and detection biases as there was no blinding of participants and outcome assessors and the outcomes were self reported. Twelve studies were at high risk of attrition bias. Using GRADE criteria, we judged the quality of evidence to be 'low' for fear of falling immediately post intervention and 'very low' for fear of falling at short or long-term follow-up and all other outcomes. Exercise interventions were associated with a small to moderate reduction in fear of falling immediately post intervention (SMD 0.37 favouring exercise, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.18 to 0.56; 24 studies; 1692 participants, low quality evidence). Pooled effect sizes did not differ significantly between the different scales used to measure fear of falling. Although none of the sensitivity analyses changed the direction of effect, the greatest reduction in the size of the effect was on removal of an extreme outlier study with 73 participants (SMD 0.24 favouring exercise, 95% CI 0.12 to 0.36). None of our subgroup analyses provided robust evidence of differences in effect in terms of either the study primary aim (reduction of fear of falling or other aim), the study population (recruitment on the basis of increased falls risk or not), the characteristics of the study exercise intervention or the study control intervention (no treatment or alternative intervention). However, there was some weak evidence of a smaller effect, which included no reduction, of exercise when compared with an alternative control. There was very low quality evidence that exercise interventions may be associated with a small reduction in fear of falling up to six months post intervention (SMD 0.17, 95% CI -0.05 to 0.38; four studies, 356 participants) and more than six months post intervention (SMD 0.20, 95% CI -0.01 to 0.41; three studies, 386 participants). Very low quality evidence suggests exercise interventions in these studies that also reported on fear of falling reduced the risk of falling measured either as participants incurring at least one fall during follow-up or the number of falls during follow-up. Very low quality evidence from four studies indicated that exercise interventions did not appear to reduce symptoms of depression or increase physical activity. The only study reporting the effects of exercise interventions on anxiety found no difference between groups. No studies reported the effects of exercise interventions on activity avoidance or costs. It is important to remember that our included studies do not represent the totality of the evidence of the effect of exercise interventions on falls, depression, anxiety or physical activity as our review only includes studies that reported fear of falling. Authors' conclusions Exercise interventions in community-dwelling older people probably reduce fear of falling to a limited extent immediately after the intervention, without increasing the risk or frequency of falls. There is insufficient evidence to determine whether exercise interventions reduce fear of falling beyond the end of the intervention or their effect on other outcomes. Although further evidence from well-designed randomised trials is required, priority should be given to establishing a core set of outcomes that includes fear of falling for all trials examining the effects of exercise interventions in older people living in the community.
    Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online) 11/2014; 11(11):CD009848. DOI:10.1002/14651858.CD009848.pub2 · 5.70 Impact Factor


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Jan 30, 2015