George Winter provides an overview of recently published articles that are of interest to practice nurses. Should you wish to look at any of the papers in more detail, a full reference is provided.
Worldwide, the annual costs of mental health disorders are an estimated $2.5 trillion (USD), a sum which is projected to rise to $6 trillion by 2030. This is cited by Singh et al (2023), who note that depression is the leading cause of mental health-related disease burden, with anxiety the most prevalent mental health disorder.
In this umbrella review, Singh et al (2023) considered the evidence on how physical activity affected the symptoms of depression, anxiety and psychological distress in adult populations. A total of 97 reviews (1039 trials and 128 119 participants) were evaluated, and the populations included healthy adults, people with mental health disorders and people with various chronic diseases.
The review's findings suggest that physical activity interventions are effective at improving symptoms of depression and anxiety; improvements that were observed across different clinical populations. The greatest benefits were conferred on people with depression, pregnant and postpartum women, apparently healthy individuals, and individuals diagnosed with HIV or kidney disease. ‘Physical activity should be a mainstay approach in the management of depression, anxiety and psychological distress.’
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