Depression and Perception of Exercise as Treatment in Rural Texas




Duong, Karen T.
Gupta, Pratik
Luz Chiapa-Scifres, Ana
Bowling, John


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Purpose: There is a lack of research about depression treatment specific to rural communities. There have been positive correlations with physical activity and mood disorders. The purpose of this study was to assess rural community patient’s views on validity of exercise as a treatment in depression. Methods: A survey collected patient information about demographics, participation in exercise, and perception about exercise as a valid depression treatment. Questions pertaining to exercise included how many days a week engaged in exercise, minutes per session, and type of exercise. Logistic regression was used to analyze data obtained from the survey. Results: Group 1 (18-39 years) was 0.570 times [0.117-2.767] less likely and Group 2 (40-59 years) was 1.6 times [0.257-10.662] more likely than group 3 (60+ years) to perceive exercise as valid treatment for depression. Based on ethnicity, Whites were 0.945 times [0.210 – 4.264] less likely and Blacks are 0.179 times [0.008-3.809] less likely than Hispanics to perceive exercise as valid treatment. We identified a correlation between exercise performed (independent variable) and perception of exercise as a valid or adjunct treatment approach for depression (dependent variable). Results indicate that participants who exercised for 0-30 minutes on an average day are 1.683 times [0.3-9.425] more likely and participants who exercised for 30-60 minutes are 2.347 times [0.339-22.748] more likely to perceive exercise as valid treatment for depression than participants who exercised for more than 60 minutes. Conclusions: Participants between age group of 40-59 years and participants of Hispanic ethnicity independently are most likely to perceive exercise as a valid treatment for depression. This is important because these findings can help healthcare providers tailor treatment of depression to specific age and ethnic groups. No correlation was observed between exercise time on a typical average day and their perception of exercise as a valid or adjunct treatment approach for depression.