Depression is common in the geriatric population, especially when they are in assisted living housing. Exercise is a simple intervention that may be helpful for symptoms of depression. Serotonin is a hormone that is a major component in mood boosting. Shim et al. discussed that exercise has been shown to bolster serotonin signaling in some individuals (“Physical Weight Loading Induces Expression of Tryptophan Hydroxylase 2 in the Brain Stem” 1). This in turn creates a superior mood in individuals that exercise on a regular basis. Care-homes for elderly generally have a high rate of depression in their patients; exercise might be able to aid in alleviating some of the symptoms and create a better life for the geriatric population in care homes.
The participants were from 751 different care homes in the United Kingdom. To be eligible to participate in the study participants had to be of age 65 or above. Participants came from both nursing homes and residential homes. If they were too sick or were out of breath at rest they were not allowed to participate in the study (Underwood 41). After the homes were chosen they were randomized into a control and intervention. Participants that were categorized depressed and that had no depressive symptoms were included in the study. If patients were depressed their treatment outside of the exercise intervention was not altered, this included therapy and anti-depressants.
The first step was giving both the control and intervention group informed consent forms and presentations. The control group that was used only had awareness on depression presentation. The intervention group also encompassed the depression awareness presentation with the addition of exercise sessions and a “whole home approach” (Underwood 43). This involved physicians and nursing staff to encourage participants to be active outside of the designated exercise sessions and in their daily routine. Exercise sessions were done twice a week at 45 minutes a session, which ran up to 12 months. Aerobic and strength training were used in the exercise sessions.
Researchers used the GDS-15 to scale depression. The GDS-15 is the geriatric depression scale and asks 30 questions. The scoring is 0-15, 0 being no depressive symptoms. Underwood et al. study used 5 or more being indicative of depression (44). Researchers took a baseline score of each participant before study, at 6 months, and at 12 months. The EQ-5D was also used to score if the exercise intervention had any positive effects. The EQ-5D is also a questionnaire but this looks at overall health. The participants and their care providers filled one out for each participant. Fear of falling, pain level, and social engagement were also observed and rated by the participants themself. Fear of...