Objective: To test hypothesized associations between depression and physical activity among adults with multiple sclerosis (MS), spinal cord injury (SCI), muscular dystrophy (MD), and postpolio syndrome (PPS).
Design: Cross-sectional survey.
Setting: Survey responses collected from individuals in the Washington state area (participants with SCI) and across the United States (participants with MS, MD, and PPS).
Participants: Convenience sample of participants were surveyed (N=1676; MD, n=321; PPS, n=388; MS, n=556; SCI, n=411).
Interventions: Not applicable.
Main outcome measures: The Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) assessing depressive symptoms and the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) and Godin Leisure Time Exercise Questionnaire (GLTEQ) assessing physical activity.
Results: The average age was 56 years, 64% were women, 92% were white, 86% had a high school degree or higher, and 56% walked with an assistive device or had limited self-mobility. The IPAQ and GLTEQ explained a small but statistically significant and unique amount of the variance in PHQ-9 scores in all diagnostic groups, with no significant differences in the relation by condition, age, or mobility status (IPAQ R(2)=.004; GLTEQ R(2)=.02; both P<.02).
Conclusions: Both physical activity measures demonstrated a small but statistically significant association with depression in all 4 diagnostic groups. Research is needed to determine longitudinal relations and whether physical activity interventions could promote improved mood in adults with physical disabilities.
Copyright © 2013 American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.