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The effectiveness of a community-based exercise and educational programme on depression in Greek population with Parkinson’s disease

Chatzidamianos, Theodoros (2018) The effectiveness of a community-based exercise and educational programme on depression in Greek population with Parkinson’s disease. Doctoral thesis (PhD), Manchester Metropolitan University.

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Abstract

Depression is among the most common symptoms of Parkinson’s disease (PD); and its estimated prevalence is 35%. A systematic review revealed that there is insufficient evidence to draw strong conclusions about the antidepressant effects of exercise in PD. Hence, in order to address this important question, a randomised controlled trial (RCT) was conducted in Greece. To aid the design of the RCT, a patient survey was performed which indicated that PD affects both physical function and mental health, even from the first stages of the disease; and the most prevalent responses were considered for the design of the RCT. The RCT, examined whether a community-based exercise and educational programme could produce short- and longer-term antidepressant effects in depressed patients with PD. Eligible participants were allocated either to a supervised group-based exercise and educational programme (intervention group) or an unsupervised individualised home-based training (comparison group). The findings revealed no significant differences between the two groups at the end of the treatment and three-month follow-up period. However, one-way repeated measures of ANOVA showed that the depressive scores were significantly improved in the intervention group over time (p= .00; t1-t2: p= .00; t1-t3: p= .01), and the magnitude of the effect was medium (t1-t2: r= .40; t1-t3: r= .31). Improvements in mood were also reported by the participants. The intervention also had positive effects on anxiety levels, motor function and quality of life. The findings of this thesis showed that the treatment potential is high; and a simple community-based exercise and educational programme, without the use of expensive and sophisticated equipment, can be prescribed for depression in patients with PD.

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