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Long-term effects of exercise at different intensity levels on depression: A randomized controlled trial.
Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
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2017 (English)In: Preventive Medicine, ISSN 0091-7435, E-ISSN 1096-0260, Vol. 105, 37-46 p., S0091-7435(17)30294-3Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Previous research has shown positive effects of exercise on depression but studies have mainly focused on the short-term effects; few have examined the long-term effect, especially with regard to differences in intensity. The aim of this study was to examine the long-term effects of prescribed exercise on depression, performed at three intensity levels. People aged 18-67years with mild to moderate depression (Patient Health Questionnaire-9 score of ≥10) participated in a single-blind, parallel randomized control trial lasting 12weeks (Sweden 2011-2013). Four arms were included: Treatment as usual (TAU, n=310), light (n=106), moderate (n=105) and vigorous exercise (n=99). Severity of depression was measured at baseline, post-treatment and 12-month follow-up using the Montgomery-Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS). Coefficients (β) and odds ratios were estimated using linear mixed models with time×group interactions. The results showed that at the 12month follow-up the light exercise group had significantly lower depression severity scores than the TAU (-1.9, 95% CI: -3.7, -0.04) and the moderate exercise group (-2.94 95% CI: -5.2, -0.7). The vigorous exercise group had significantly lower scores than the moderate exercise group only (-2.7, 95% CI: -4.9, -0.4). In conclusion, compared to usual care for depression, only light exercise resulted in significantly lower depression severity at 12-month follow-up. Both light and vigorous exercise was more effective than moderate exercise.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: The study was registered with the German Clinical Trial Register (DRKS study ID: DRKS00008745).

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 105, 37-46 p., S0091-7435(17)30294-3
Keyword [en]
Depression, Dose-response, Exercise, Intervention studies
National Category
Sport and Fitness Sciences Psychiatry
Research subject
Medicine/Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:gih:diva-5006DOI: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2017.08.008PubMedID: 28823684OAI: oai:DiVA.org:gih-5006DiVA: diva2:1141697
Available from: 2017-09-15 Created: 2017-09-15 Last updated: 2017-09-25Bibliographically approved

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