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Understanding Exercise Practices and Depression, Anxiety, and Stress in Senior Games Athletes: A Mixed-Methods Exploration

Bardhoshi, Gerta LPC, PhD; Jordre, Becca D. PT, DPT; Schweinle, William E. PhD; Shervey, Sarah Wollersheim PhD

Topics in Geriatric Rehabilitation: January/March 2016 - Volume 32 - Issue 1 - p 63–71
doi: 10.1097/TGR.0000000000000092
The Aging Athlete

This mixed-methods study investigated depression, anxiety, and stress rates, measured by the Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scale–21 (DASS-21), and exercise practices in a national sample of Senior Games Athletes (N = 383). Results demonstrated significantly lower DASS-21 scores for Senior Games Athletes compared with nonclinical normative data and no strong relationships between DASS-21 scores and demographic variables, exercise practices, and comorbidity. Senior Games Athletes reported high exercise volume and notably low comorbidity rates. Qualitative analysis of written responses revealed that participants related a healthy lifestyle with practicing healthy behaviors, experiencing optimal physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being, living life to the fullest, and social engagement.

Department of Rehabilitation and Counselor Education, The University of Iowa, Iowa City (Dr Bardhoshi); and Departments of Physical Therapy (Dr Jordre), Physician Assistant Studies (Dr Schweinle), and Division of Counseling and Psychology in Education (Dr Shervey), University of South Dakota, Vermillion.

Correspondence: Gerta Bardhoshi, NCC, LPC, PhD, Department of Rehabilitation and Counselor Education, The University of Iowa, 352 Lindquist Center North, Iowa City, IA 52242 (

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

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