Can exercise treat depression?

From: The Cochrane Collaboration

Journal rating:
rating: 98%
Study Quality:
rating: 100%
%

Overall Reliability

Article Quality:
rating: 50%
Partcipants
rating: 50%

Participants/situation

  • 28 trials with 1,101 participants

Study

  • The paper is a systematic review / meta analysis of all relevant trials.
  • This means that the data from all similar trials have been grouped to form an overall outcome.

Results

  • Trials comparing exercise with no treatment or a control intervention suggest a moderate clinical effect in favour of exercise.
  • Data from the seven trials (373 participants) that provided long-term follow-up also found a small effect in favour of exercise.
  • Exercise seems to improve depressive symptoms in people with a diagnosis of depression when compared with no treatment or a control intervention (i.e a waiting list).  

Answer

  • Yes (without confidence)

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