Depression: Exercise vs. Meds

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

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

This very important study concludes that an aerobic exercise program and prescription anti-depressants 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!

Posted on: April 09, 2012

Categories: Relevant Physical Therapy Articles

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