Exercise Fails to Help Depressed Elderly in London
Popular with residents but it had no effect on
depression or general quality of life
May 2, 2013 Exercise often seems to be an
automatic recommendation for anything that ails a senior citizen. New
research indicates, however, that this common solution for better mental
and physical health has met its match in trying to help elderly living
in nursing homes and assisted living facilities escape from depression.
Exercise was not effective in reducing burden of
depression among elderly care home residents according to researchers at
the University of Warwick and Queen Mary, University of London.
Exercise is a low risk intervention that can
improve mental health but the findings of a National Institute for
Health Research Health Technology Assessment Program study, published in
The Lancet, conclude that there is a requirement for alternative
approaches to reduce the burden of depression in frail, very elderly,
care home residents.
The large randomized controlled trial sought to
discover whether an intervention that combined a twice-weekly,
moderately intensive exercise sessions over the course of a year and
promotion of physical activity by care home staff would reduce
Over 1,000 residents were recruited from 78 UK care
homes. Nearly half of the frail elderly care home residents recruited to
the study were suffering from depression.
The intervention was well received in the homes,
and popular with residents but it had no effect on depression, or
residents general quality of life.
We are disappointed that this exercise
intervention had no effect on the serious problem of depression with the
care home residents, said
Professor of Primary Care Research at
School, who led the research team.
We already know that antidepressants are effective
for more severely depressed patients, while preventive strategies such
as increased social engagement and psychological stimulation are
promising but as yet unproven. New approaches are clearly needed to
address the major burden of depression in this most needy population.
I would stress that these results only apply to
care home residents and only to depression; there is no doubt that
exercise improves fitness and physical health in younger people and in
fitter elderly people.
With the number of people needing residential care
predicted to continue rising year on year, it is ever more important
that residents have access to effective interventions to improve their
Stephanie Taylor, Professor in Public Health and
Primary Care at Queen Mary, added, While the intervention was,
unfortunately, not effective in reducing the presence of depressive
symptoms in this population, with nearly half of the residents in our
study showing depressive symptoms we are hopeful that this will spur
further research around understanding and improving the lives of older
people in care homes.
Nursing Home Abuse,
Medical Malpractice -
Experienced Legal Help
Janicek Law attorneys are working every day to help senior citizens and others harmed by failure of care in nursing homes and the healthcare system.
you or a loved one have suffered due to the neglect or inadequate care of others, call us today. We offer the skill and knowledge gained in more than twenty years of success.
Free Consultation - Call toll free 1-877-795-3425
Keep up with the latest news for senior citizens, baby