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Carolyn J. Murrock and Christine Heifner Graor

This study documented the feasibility and immediate effects of a dance intervention two times per week for 12 weeks on depression, physical function, and disability in older, underserved adults. The one-group, pretest–posttest study had a convenience sample of 40 participants recruited from a federally subsidized apartment complex located in an economically depressed, inner-city neighborhood. Depression, physical function, and disability were measured at baseline and 12 weeks. Average age was 63 years (SD = 7.9), 92% were female, and 75% were African American. At baseline, participants reported increased depression (M = 20.0, SD = 12.4), decreased physical function (M = 56.6, SD = 10.9), and increased disability limitations (M = 65.7, SD = 14.9). At posttest, paired t tests showed that the dance intervention significantly decreased depression, t = 6.11, p < .001, and disability, t = −2.70, p = .014, and significantly increased physical function, t = -2.74, p = .013. The results indicate that the 12-week dance intervention may be an effective adjunct therapy to improve depression, disability, and physical function in underserved adults.

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Denise Azar, Kylie Ball, Jo Salmon and Verity Cleland

Background:

A number of factors have been identified as important correlates of physical activity (PA) among young women. Young women at risk of depression have a greater likelihood of being physically inactive and it is unknown whether correlates differ for women at risk and not at risk of depression.

Methods:

A sample of 451 women aged 18 to 35 years self-reported leisure-time PA, enjoyment of and self-efficacy for walking and vigorous PA, barriers, social support, access to sporting/leisure facilities, and access to sporting equipment in the home. Depression risk was assessed using the General Health Questionnaire (cut point ≥5). Logistic regression analyses examined differences in PA correlates among women at risk and not at risk of depression.

Results:

Self-efficacy for vigorous PA was statistically different between groups in predicting odds for meeting PA recommendations but odds ratios were similar across groups. No other significant interactions between correlates and depressive symptoms were identified.

Conclusions:

The findings suggest few differences in the individual, social, and physical environmental correlates of PA among young women who are and are not at risk of depression. Further research is needed to confirm the existence of any PA correlates specific to this high-risk target group.

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Magnus Lindwall, Mikael Rennemark, Anders Halling, Johan Berglund and Peter Hassmén

This study investigated the relationship between light and strenuous exercise and depression, as well as gender differences in this relationship, in a representative sample of 860 elderly Swedish suburb-dwelling men and women in age cohorts from 60 to 96 years, drawn from among participants in the Swedish National Aging and Care study. The relationship between depression and self-reported changes in exercise status over time was also examined. Exercise activities were measured with four survey questions, and depression, with the Montgomery Åsberg Depression Rating Scale. The inactive elderly had higher depression scores than more active individuals, both in terms of light and strenuous exercise. The continuously active group had lower depression scores than both continuously inactive individuals and individuals reporting a shift from activity to inactivity during the preceding year. Light exercise had a somewhat stronger effect on depression for women.

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Craig Lodis, Sandra T. Sigmon, Amber Martinson, Julia Craner, Morgan McGillicuddy and Bruce Hale

This study investigated seasonality in male and female college athletes and nonathletes. Given the literature on activity level and its positive impact on mood, it was predicted that athletes would benefit more than nonathletes with regards to seasonal symptoms. Participants completed measures of seasonality, depression, and cognitive processes during a winter month. Multiple measures of seasonality were administered to distinguish seasonal depression symptoms from nonseasonal symptoms. Results indicated that nonathletes reported more seasonal symptoms, seasonal attitudes, and rumination, gained more weight, socialized the least, and slept more than athletes. Female nonathletes reported the most impact from the changing seasons and more negative thoughts about the changing seasons. These results indicate that engaging in collegiate athletics may serve as a protective factor in seasonal depression.

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Stacey E. Aaron, Chris M. Gregory and Annie N. Simpson

Background:

One-third of individuals with stroke report symptoms of depression, which has a negative impact on recovery. Physical activity (PA) is a potentially effective therapy. Our objective was to examine the associations of subjectively assessed PA levels and symptoms of depression in a nationally representative stroke sample.

Methods:

We conducted a cross-sectional study of 175 adults in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2011–2012 cycle. Moderate, vigorous, and combination equivalent PA metabolic equivalent (MET)-minutes per week averages were derived from the Global Physical Activity Questionnaire, and .the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines/American College of Sports Medicine recommendations of ≥500 MET-minutes per week of moderate, vigorous, or combination equivalent PA were used as cut points. Depression symptoms were measured using the Patient Health Questionnaire-9.

Results:

Meeting moderate PA guidelines resulted in 74% lower odds of having depression symptoms (P < .0001) and 89% lower odds of major symptoms of depression (P = .0003). Meeting vigorous guidelines showed a 91% lower odds of having mild symptoms of depression (P = .04). Participating in some moderate, vigorous, or combination equivalent PA revealed the odds of depression symptoms 13 times greater compared with meeting guidelines (P = .005); odds of mild symptoms of depression were 9 times greater (P = .01); and odds of major symptoms of depression were 15 times greater (P = .006).

Conclusions:

There is a lower risk of developing mild symptoms of depression when vigorous guidelines for PA are met and developing major symptoms of depression when moderate guidelines met. Participating in some PA is not enough to reduce the risk of depression symptoms.

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Steven L. Proctor and Candace Boan-Lenzo

This study examined the athletic status differences in reported depressive symptoms between male intercollegiate team sport athletes (n= 66) and male nonathletes (n = 51) enrolled at one of two public universities in the Southeastern United States, while controlling for preferred (task-oriented and emotion-oriented) coping strategies. Analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) revealed that the athletes reported significantly fewer depressive symptoms than nonathletes while controlling for coping strategy selection (p< .05). In terms of the actual prevalence rates of depressive symptoms, 29.4% of the nonathletes met the criterion for possible depression compared with only 15.6% of the athletes. Overall, athletic participation in an intercollegiate team sport appears related to lower levels of depression. The potentially distress-buffering aspects of athletic involvement and implications for future research are discussed.

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Insa Nixdorf, Raphael Frank, Martin Hautzinger and Juergen Beckmann

Depression among elite athletes is a topic of increasing interest, but empirical data are rare. The present study aimed to provide insight into the prevalence of depressive symptoms among German elite athletes and possible associated factors. In an online survey of 162 athletes, we explored depressive symptoms, chronic stress, coping strategies and stress-recovery states. Results indicated an overall prevalence of 15% for depression among elite athletes (n = 99), and revealed higher levels of depressive symptoms among the individual athletes than the team athletes. Furthermore, correlation analyses showed a significant connection between high levels of depressive symptoms and high levels of chronic stress, negative coping strategies and negative stress-recovery states. Results indicate that the prevalence for depressive symptoms in elite athletes is comparable to that in the general German population. Moreover, exploratory analyses provide first indications of factors associated with depressive symptoms.

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Wei Duan-Porter, Remy R. Coeytaux, Jennifer R. McDuffie, Adam P. Goode, Poonam Sharma, Hillary Mennella, Avishek Nagi and John W. Williams Jr.

Background:

This study describes evidence of yoga’s effectiveness for depressive disorders, general anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder (PD), and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in adults. We also address adverse events associated with yoga.

Methods:

We searched multiple electronic databases for systematic reviews (SRs) published between 2008 and July 2014, randomized controlled trials (RCTs) not identified in eligible SRs, and ongoing RCTs registered with ClincalTrials.gov.

Results:

We identified 1 SR on depression, 1 for adverse events, and 3 addressing multiple conditions. The high-quality depression SR included 12 RCTs (n = 619) that showed improved short-term depressive symptoms (standardized mean difference, –0.69, 95% confidence interval, –0.99 to –0.39), but there was substantial variability (I2 = 86%) and a high risk of bias for 9 studies. Three SRs addressing multiple conditions identified 4 nonrandomized studies (n = 174) for GAD/PD and 1 RCT (n = 8) and 2 nonrandomized studies (n = 22) for PTSD. We separately found 1 RCT (n = 13) for GAD and 2 RCTs (n = 102) for PTSD. Collectively, these studies were inconclusive for the effectiveness of yoga in treating GAD/PD and PTSD. The high-quality SR for adverse events included 37 primary reports (n = 76) in which inversion postures were most often implicated. We found 5 ongoing trials (3 for PTSD).

Conclusions:

Yoga may improve short-term depressive symptoms, but evidence for GAD, PD, and PTSD remain inconclusive.

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Nina Sperber, Katherine S. Hall, Kelli Allen, Brenda M. DeVellis, Megan Lewis and Leigh F. Callahan

Background:

Physical and psychological symptoms limit physical activity for people with arthritis. This study examined if self-efficacy mediated a relationship between symptom and physical activity (PA) frequency change.

Methods:

This was a secondary analysis of older adults with arthritis and joint pain in a trial of a lifestyle PA program (n = 339). Measures were depressive symptoms, pain, fatigue, arthritis self-efficacy, PA self-efficacy, and PA frequency. A panel model was used to analyze relationships at baseline and changes at 20 weeks.

Results:

The mean age was 68.8 years. At baseline, depression and fatigue were associated with arthritis self-efficacy (β = –.34 and –.24) and, in turn, PA self-efficacy (β = .63); PA self-efficacy was associated with PA (β = .15). Pain and depression changes were associated with arthritis self-efficacy change (β = –.20 and –.21) and, in turn, PA self-efficacy (β = .32) change; PA self-efficacy change was associated with PA change (β = .36).

Conclusion:

Change in symptom severity affected change in PA frequency. These relationships appeared to operate through self-efficacy. Over time, pain appeared to have a stronger relationship than fatigue with self-efficacy and PA. These findings support strategies to help people with arthritis strengthen their confidence for symptom coping and PA participation.

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Kimberlee Bethany Bonura and Gershon Tenenbaum

Background:

The objective of this study was to assess the effect of a yoga intervention on psychological health in older adults.

Method:

A randomized controlled trial study, conducted at 2 North Florida facilities for older adults. Subjects were 98 older adults, ages 65 to 92. Participants were randomly assigned to chair yoga, chair exercise, and control groups and assessed preintervention, postintervention, and 1-month follow-up on the State Anger Expression Inventory, State Anxiety Inventory, Geriatric Depression Scale, Lawton’s PGC Morale Scale, General Self-Efficacy Scale, Chronic Disease Self-Efficacy Scales, and Self- Control Schedule.

Results:

Yoga participants improved more than both exercise and control participants in anger (Cohen’s d = 0.89 for yoga versus exercise, and 0.90 for yoga versus control, pretest to posttest; and d = 0.90 and 0.72, pretest to follow-up), anxiety (d = 0.27, 0.39 and 0.62, 0.63), depression (d = 0.47, 0.49 and 0.53, 0.51), well-being (d = 0.14, 0.49 and 0.25, 0.61), general self-efficacy (d = 0.63, 1.10 and 0.30, 0.85), and self-efficacy for daily living (d = 0.52, 0.81 and 0.27, 0.42). Changes in self-control moderated changes in psychological health.

Conclusions:

Over a 6-week period, our findings indicate yoga’s potential for improving psychological health in older adults.