Exercise Training and Music Therapy in Elderly With Depressive Syndrome: A Pilot Study


Complementary Therapies in Medicine




OBJECTIVE: Recent studies have thrown doubt on the true effectiveness of anti-depressants in light and moderate depression. The aim of this study is to evaluate the impact of physical training and music therapy on a sample group of subjects affected by light to moderate depression versus subjects treated with pharmacological therapy only. DESIGN AND SETTING: Randomized controlled study. Patients were randomized into two groups. Subjects in the pharmacotherapy group received a therapy with antidepressant drugs; the exercise/music therapy group was assigned to receive physical exercise training combined with listening to music. The effects of interventions were assessed by differences in changes in mood state between the two groups. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Medically eligible patients were screened with the Hamilton Anxiety Scale and with the Geriatric Depression Scale. We used plasmatic cytokine dosage as a stress marker. RESULTS: We recruited 24 subjects (mean age: 75.5 ± 7.4, 11 M/13 F). In the pharmacotherapy group there was a significant improvement in anxiety only (p<0.05) at 6-months. In the exercise/music therapy was a reduction in anxiety and in depression at 3-months and at 6-months (p<0.05). We noted an average reduction of the level of TNF-a from 57.67 (± 39.37) pg/ml to 35.80 (± 26.18) pg/ml. CONCLUSIONS: Our training may potentially play a role in the treatment of subjects with mild to moderate depression. Further research should be carried out to obtain more evidence on effects of physical training and music therapy in depressed subjects.

Music and Health Institute Terms

Anxiety; Anxiety Scales; Depression; Depressive Disorder; Elderly; Mental Health; Mood Disorders; Mood Scales; Music Listening; Music Medicine; Music in Combination with Other Techniques; Recorded Music Listening

Indexed Terms

Elderly; Elderly; Anti-Anxiety Agents; Anxiety; Depressive Disorder; Exercise Therapy; Pilot Projects; Anxiety; Depression; Elderly; Exercise; Rehabilitation

Study Type

Randomized Controlled Trial; Quantitative Methods

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