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Internet-delivered therapist-guided physical activity for mild to moderate depression: a randomized controlled trial
Umeå University, Sweden.
Umeå University, Sweden.
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Psychology. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden. (Internet, health and clinical psychology research group)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4753-6745
Umeå University, Sweden.
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2013 (English)In: PeerJ, ISSN 2167-8359, Vol. 1, e178- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Objective. The main hypothesis, and the objective of the study, was to test if the participants allocated to the treatment group would show a larger reduction in depressive symptoms than those in the control group. Methods. This study was a randomized nine week trial of an Internet-administered treatment based on guided physical exercise for Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). A total of 48 participants with mild to moderate depression, diagnosed using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis I Disorders, were randomized either to a treatment intervention or to a waiting-list control group. The main outcome measure for depression was the Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II), and physical activity level was measured using the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ). The treatment program consisted of nine text modules, and included therapist guidance on a weekly basis. Results. The results showed significant reductions of depressive symptoms in the treatment group compared to the control group, with a moderate between-group effect size (Cohen's d = 0.67; 95% confidence interval: 0.09-1.25). No difference was found between the groups with regards to increase of physical activity level. For the treatment group, the reduction in depressive symptoms persisted at six months follow-up. Conclusions. Physical activity as a treatment for depression can be delivered in the form of guided Internet-based self-help. Trial Registration. The trial was registered at (NCT01573130).

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 1, e178- p.
Keyword [en]
Depression, Internet, Physical activity, Psychotherapy, RCT, Treatment
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-102157DOI: 10.7717/peerj.178PubMedID: 24109561OAI: diva2:668603
Available from: 2013-12-01 Created: 2013-12-01 Last updated: 2014-11-28Bibliographically approved

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