The Effectiveness of a Community-based Exercise and Educational Programme on Depression in Greek Population with Parkinson’s Disease


Theodoros Chatzidamianos
Physiotherapy, University of West Attica, Greece
Narayan Prabhu
Physiotherapy, Manchester Metropolitan University, United Kingdom
James Selfe
Physiotherapy, Manchester Metropolitan University, United Kingdom
Panagiotis Zikos
Neurological Department, 251 Hellenic Air Force General Hospital, Greece


Although depression is among the most common symptoms of Parkinson’s disease (PD), there is insufficient evidence to draw strong conclusions about the antidepressant effects of exercise in PD.

 To examine whether a community-based exercise and educational programme could produce short- and log-term effects in depressed patients with PD.

A RCT was conducted following the steps of the CONSORT statement. 70 participants, with clinical levels of depression (HADS-D score≥ 8), were randomly allocated by a computer programme either to an 8-week supervised multimodal, group-based exercise and educational programme (n= 35) or an unsupervised individualised home-based training programme (n= 35) receiving printed material. During the three-month follow-up period, all the participants followed an individualised home-based exercise programme. The HADS-D was the primary tool that was selected to assess depressive levels and a satisfaction questionnaire to collect qualitative data. Quantitative data were analysed using SPSS (version 22.0) and qualitative data by content analysis.

One-way repeated measures of ANOVA showed that the depressive scores were significantly improved only in the intervention group over time (p= .00; t1-t2: p= .00; t1-t3: p= .01), and the magnitude of the effect was medium (t1-t2: r= .40; t1-t3: r= .31). Improvements in mood were also reported by the participants.

 Depressed patients with PD are able to obtain short- and longer-term antidepressant benefits from commencing a structured, low-cost exercise and educational programme.

November 30, 2022