Purpose: To establish the feasibility and effect of an aerobic exercise intervention on symptoms of depression among individuals with traumatic brain injury.
Design: A pre-post single group.
Participants: our community dwelling participants (>11 months postinjury) with residual physical impairment recruited from an outpatient clinic.
Intervention: 12-week aerobic exercise program.
Outcome Measures: The Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression; aerobic capacity (cycle ergometer, heart rate at reference resistance, perceived exertion); Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale and program perception (survey).
Analysis: Descriptive statistics to depict change in outcome measure scores. Answers from the survey were collated and presented as summary statements.
Results: All participants had fewer symptoms of depression, improved aerobic capacity and higher self esteem after the intervention. High satisfaction with the program was reported with no adverse effects.
Conclusion: The aerobic exercise program was feasible and effective for individuals with traumatic brain injury, leading to improved mood, cardiovascular fitness, and self-esteem. Future research is needed to determine the intensity, frequency, and duration required to reach and maintain improvement.