Promoting physical activity in the management of depression: the perspectives of older people

Alan Wright, Mima Cattan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


While exercise has been widely proposed in the management of depression in older people, the subjective experiences of individuals participating in this intervention have been neglected. Similarly, little is known about the manner in which unsupervised physical activity is adopted by older people as they recover from an episode of depression. This qualitative study sought the views of 11 older people who had recently been admitted to hospital with depression and attended regular in-patient exercise groups. It was found that participants valued opportunities to exercise when in hospital and reported a range of benefits. Following discharge unsupervised physical activity played a crucial part in the recovery process and three typologies were defined which categorised participants’ motivation to be physically active. It was concluded that opportunities for older people to join exercise groups when hospitalised with depression are likely to be valued and that individual factors should be acknowledged when promoting post discharge physical activity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-67
JournalMental Health and Learning Disabilities Research and Practice
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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