Feasibility and Effect of Aerobic Exercise for Lowering Depressive Symptoms Among Individuals With Traumatic Brain Injury: A Pilot Study


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Abstract

Purpose:To establish the feasibility and effect of an aerobic exercise intervention on symptoms of depression among individuals with traumatic brain injury.Design:A pre-post single group.Participants:our community dwelling participants (>11 months postinjury) with residual physical impairment recruited from an outpatient clinic.Intervention:12-week aerobic exercise program.Outcome Measures:The Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression; aerobic capacity (cycle ergometer, heart rate at reference resistance, perceived exertion); Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale and program perception (survey).Analysis:Descriptive statistics to depict change in outcome measure scores. Answers from the survey were collated and presented as summary statements.Results:All participants had fewer symptoms of depression, improved aerobic capacity and higher self esteem after the intervention. High satisfaction with the program was reported with no adverse effects.Conclusion:The aerobic exercise program was feasible and effective for individuals with traumatic brain injury, leading to improved mood, cardiovascular fitness, and self-esteem. Future research is needed to determine the intensity, frequency, and duration required to reach and maintain improvement.

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