A pragmatic randomised controlled trial of preferred intensity exercise in depressed adult women in the United Kingdom: secondary analysis of individual variability of depression

Journal article


Callaghan, P, Morres, I, Hinton-Bayre, A, Motakis, E and Carter, T (2019). A pragmatic randomised controlled trial of preferred intensity exercise in depressed adult women in the United Kingdom: secondary analysis of individual variability of depression. BMC Public Health. 19 (941), pp. 1-11.
AuthorsCallaghan, P, Morres, I, Hinton-Bayre, A, Motakis, E and Carter, T
Abstract

Background

This study is a secondary analysis of the trial by Callaghan et al. (2011), which reported higher antidepressant effects for preferred intensity (n = 19) vs. prescribed intensity (n = 19) exercise of three sessions/week over four weeks in depressed women. In particular, the present study sought to examine whether greater clinically significant individual change/recovery was observed in the preferred compared to the prescribed exercise group.

Methods

The reliable change index and the Ccutoff score criteria described by Jacobson and Truax (1991) were employed to determine clinical significance. These criteria examined if individual change in depression scores from pre- to post-intervention in the preferred intensity group were statistically significant beyond the standard error of difference derived from the active comparator prescribed group, and subsequently within a normal population range. Patients fulfilling the first or both criteria were classified as improved or recovered, respectively.

Results

Post-intervention depression scores of six patients in the preferred intensity exercise group (32%) demonstrated statistically reliable improvement (p < 0.05) and recovery. Half of this subgroup started as moderately depressed. No patient demonstrated a reliable deterioration in depression. Due to a small sample size, it was impossible to determine whether patients on psychiatric medication or medication-free patients were equally benefited from preferred intensity exercise. Thirteen patients in the preferred intensity group (68%) displayed non-statistically significant change in post-intervention depression scores (p > 0.05), although eight of them showed a non-significant improvement in post-intervention depression scores and three could not technically show an improvement in depression due to floor effects (baseline depression within normal range).

Conclusions

Preferred intensity exercise of three sessions/week over four weeks led almost a third of the patients to record scores consistent with recovery from depression. Health professionals may consider that short-term preferred intensity exercise provides clinically significant antidepressant effects comparing favourably to exercise on prescription.

KeywordsExercise,; Preferred intensity; Depression; Individual; clinical significance
Year2019
JournalBMC Public Health
Journal citation19 (941), pp. 1-11
PublisherBMC
ISSN1471-2458
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1186/s12889-019-7238-7
Publication dates
Print12 Jul 2019
Publication process dates
Deposited16 Jul 2019
Accepted29 Jun 2019
Publisher's version
License
CC BY 4.0
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https://openresearch.lsbu.ac.uk/item/865yy

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