Exercise interventions for the prevention of depression: a systematic review of meta-analyses

Abstract Background Exercise may be a promising target for depression interventions. However, evidence for a beneficial effect of exercise interventions on the prevention of depression differs substantially across different studies. Methods A systematic search was performed up to July 2018 using Pub...

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Main Authors: Mandy X. Hu, David Turner, Ellen Generaal, Daniel Bos, M. Kamran Ikram, M. Arfan Ikram, Pim Cuijpers, Brenda W. J. H. Penninx
Format: Article
Language:English
Published: BMC 2020-08-01
Series:BMC Public Health
Subjects:
Online Access:http://link.springer.com/article/10.1186/s12889-020-09323-y
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spelling doaj-9a99a6d0be3d425fb9ccbef56a8784f22020-11-25T03:54:34ZengBMCBMC Public Health1471-24582020-08-0120111110.1186/s12889-020-09323-yExercise interventions for the prevention of depression: a systematic review of meta-analysesMandy X. Hu0David Turner1Ellen Generaal2Daniel Bos3M. Kamran Ikram4M. Arfan Ikram5Pim Cuijpers6Brenda W. J. H. Penninx7Department of Psychiatry, Amsterdam Public Health Research Institute, Amsterdam UMC, Vrije Universiteit AmsterdamDepartment of Clinical, Neuro and Developmental Psychology, Amsterdam Public Health Research Institute, Vrije UniversiteitDepartment of Psychiatry, Amsterdam Public Health Research Institute, Amsterdam UMC, Vrije Universiteit AmsterdamDepartment of Epidemiology, Erasmus MC University Medical Center RotterdamDepartment of Epidemiology, Erasmus MC University Medical Center RotterdamDepartment of Epidemiology, Erasmus MC University Medical Center RotterdamDepartment of Clinical, Neuro and Developmental Psychology, Amsterdam Public Health Research Institute, Vrije UniversiteitDepartment of Psychiatry, Amsterdam Public Health Research Institute, Amsterdam UMC, Vrije Universiteit AmsterdamAbstract Background Exercise may be a promising target for depression interventions. However, evidence for a beneficial effect of exercise interventions on the prevention of depression differs substantially across different studies. Methods A systematic search was performed up to July 2018 using PubMed, Embase, PsycINFO, and Cochrane. Articles were included if a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials was performed that examined the effect of exercise interventions on the onset of depression or depressive symptoms in the general population. Meta-analyses focusing on treatment of diagnosed depression were excluded. Two authors independently screened the articles and graded the quality of included meta-analyses using AMSTAR 2. Results Eight meta-analyses were included that showed little overlap in 134 included studies. All meta-analyses reported on depressive symptoms rather than onset of depression. Five of these were rated as moderate quality and three of low quality. Six meta-analyses found significant effects, and two found non-significant effects of exercise interventions in reducing depressive symptoms in children, adolescents, adults and the elderly (effect sizes ranging from − 0.10 to − 0.81). Scarce evidence did not allow to draw conclusions about the role of sex and characteristics of exercise on depression. However, some findings suggest that low intensity exercise was as effective as high intensity exercise. Heterogeneity among primary studies was high, likely caused by differences in study quality and exercise characteristics. Conclusions The evidence from this study suggests that exercise interventions have a beneficial effect on depressive symptoms in the general population across a wide age-range.http://link.springer.com/article/10.1186/s12889-020-09323-yDepressionPhysical activitySystematic reviewMeta-analysisRandomized controlled trial
collection DOAJ
language English
format Article
sources DOAJ
author Mandy X. Hu
David Turner
Ellen Generaal
Daniel Bos
M. Kamran Ikram
M. Arfan Ikram
Pim Cuijpers
Brenda W. J. H. Penninx
spellingShingle Mandy X. Hu
David Turner
Ellen Generaal
Daniel Bos
M. Kamran Ikram
M. Arfan Ikram
Pim Cuijpers
Brenda W. J. H. Penninx
Exercise interventions for the prevention of depression: a systematic review of meta-analyses
BMC Public Health
Depression
Physical activity
Systematic review
Meta-analysis
Randomized controlled trial
author_facet Mandy X. Hu
David Turner
Ellen Generaal
Daniel Bos
M. Kamran Ikram
M. Arfan Ikram
Pim Cuijpers
Brenda W. J. H. Penninx
author_sort Mandy X. Hu
title Exercise interventions for the prevention of depression: a systematic review of meta-analyses
title_short Exercise interventions for the prevention of depression: a systematic review of meta-analyses
title_full Exercise interventions for the prevention of depression: a systematic review of meta-analyses
title_fullStr Exercise interventions for the prevention of depression: a systematic review of meta-analyses
title_full_unstemmed Exercise interventions for the prevention of depression: a systematic review of meta-analyses
title_sort exercise interventions for the prevention of depression: a systematic review of meta-analyses
publisher BMC
series BMC Public Health
issn 1471-2458
publishDate 2020-08-01
description Abstract Background Exercise may be a promising target for depression interventions. However, evidence for a beneficial effect of exercise interventions on the prevention of depression differs substantially across different studies. Methods A systematic search was performed up to July 2018 using PubMed, Embase, PsycINFO, and Cochrane. Articles were included if a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials was performed that examined the effect of exercise interventions on the onset of depression or depressive symptoms in the general population. Meta-analyses focusing on treatment of diagnosed depression were excluded. Two authors independently screened the articles and graded the quality of included meta-analyses using AMSTAR 2. Results Eight meta-analyses were included that showed little overlap in 134 included studies. All meta-analyses reported on depressive symptoms rather than onset of depression. Five of these were rated as moderate quality and three of low quality. Six meta-analyses found significant effects, and two found non-significant effects of exercise interventions in reducing depressive symptoms in children, adolescents, adults and the elderly (effect sizes ranging from − 0.10 to − 0.81). Scarce evidence did not allow to draw conclusions about the role of sex and characteristics of exercise on depression. However, some findings suggest that low intensity exercise was as effective as high intensity exercise. Heterogeneity among primary studies was high, likely caused by differences in study quality and exercise characteristics. Conclusions The evidence from this study suggests that exercise interventions have a beneficial effect on depressive symptoms in the general population across a wide age-range.
topic Depression
Physical activity
Systematic review
Meta-analysis
Randomized controlled trial
url http://link.springer.com/article/10.1186/s12889-020-09323-y
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