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Republished research: Facilitated physical activity as a treatment for depressed adults: randomised controlled trial
  1. Melanie Chalder1,
  2. Nicola J Wiles1,
  3. John Campbell2,
  4. Sandra P Hollinghurst1,
  5. Anne M Haase3,
  6. Adrian H Taylor4,
  7. Kenneth R Fox3,
  8. Ceire Costelloe1,
  9. Aidan Searle1,
  10. Helen Baxter1,
  11. Rachel Winder2,
  12. Christine Wright2,
  13. Katrina M Turner1,
  14. Michael Calnan5,
  15. Deborah A Lawlor1,
  16. Tim J Peters6,
  17. Deborah J Sharp1,
  18. Alan A Montgomery1,
  19. Glyn Lewis1
  1. 1School of Social and Community Medicine, University of Bristol, Bristol BS8 2BN, UK
  2. 2Primary Care Research Group, Peninsula Medical School, Exeter, UK
  3. 3School of Policy Studies, University of Bristol
  4. 4Sport and Health Sciences, University of Exeter, Exeter
  5. 5School of Social Policy, University of Kent, Canterbury, UK
  6. 6School of Clinical Sciences, University of Bristol
  1. Correspondence to : M Chalder; melanie.chalder{at}


Study question Does facilitated physical activity provide an effective treatment for adults with depression presenting in primary care?

Summary answer Although trial participants receiving the physical activity intervention in addition to usual care reported increased physical activity compared with those receiving usual care alone, there was no evidence to suggest that the intervention brought about any improvement in depressive symptoms or reduction in antidepressant use.

What is known and what this paper adds Numerous studies have reported the positive effects of physical activity, but most of the current evidence originates from small non-clinical samples using interventions that are not practicable in a healthcare setting. Our results indicate that offering patients a facilitated physical activity intervention is not an effective strategy for reducing symptoms of depression, although it increased self reported physical activity and sustained this effect over 12 months.

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