Depression: Exercise vs. Meds

This randomized control trial involved 200 sedentary adults with major depressive disorder randomized to: a) supervised exercise (3hours/week); b) home-based exercise; c) sertraline (a.k.a. Zoloft/an antidepressant); d) placebo pill.

This is a very important study concludes that an aerobic exercise program and prescription antidepressants provide similar benefits on depression after 4 months and 1 year. On top of that, a regular exercise program augmented the benefits of antidepressant use.

The challenge is getting patients with depression to actually comply with an exercise program…it takes great PT skills! Share with them this study. Helping patients get out of depression can be tremendously satisfying, so do whatever it takes to motivate them to do even a daily 5-minute exercise routine…Suggest Aqua-fitness!

Reference: Hoffman BM, et al Exercise and pharmacotherapy inpatients with major depression: one-year follow-up of the SMILE study.Psychosom Med. 2011 Feb-Mar; 73(2):127-33.

If you or your family have any further questions regarding this study, or would like to benefit from a supervised exercise program, please contact your Sheddon Physiotherapist at (905) 849-4576.

By Dana Clark
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