Objective: To examine the effect of exercise intervention on exercise maintenance, depression, quality of life, and mental health at 6 months for people with traumatic brain injury (TBI) with at least mild depression.
Design: Treatment group participants were assessed at baseline, after a 10-week exercise intervention, and 6 months after completion of the intervention.
Participants: Participants (N=40) with self-reported TBI from 6 months to 5 years prior to study enrollment and a score of 5 or greater on the Patient Health Questionnaire-9.
Interventions: Ten-week exercise intervention program consisting of supervised weekly 60-minute sessions and unsupervised 30 minutes of aerobic exercises 4 times each week. Telephone follow-up was conducted every 2 weeks for an additional 6 months to promote exercise maintenance for individuals randomized to the intervention group.
Main outcome measure: Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) comparing participant outcomes over time. Post hoc analyses included comparison among those who exercised more or less than 90 minutes per week.
Results: Participants reduced their scores on the BDI from baseline to 10 weeks and maintained improvement over time. Many participants (48%) demonstrated increased physical activity at 6 months compared with baseline. Those who exercised more than 90 minutes had lower scores on the BDI at the 10-week and 6-month assessments and reported higher perceived quality of life and mental health.
Conclusions: Exercise may contribute to improvement in mood and quality of life for people with TBI and should be considered as part of the approach to depression treatment.
Copyright © 2012 American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.