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Title:Working it out: Acute exercise to combat anxiety, depression, and improve psychological well-being in individuals living with PTSD
Author(s):Greene, Daniel Ryan
Director of Research:Petruzzello, Steven J.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Petruzzello, Steven J.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Gobin, Robyn; Hall, Katherine; Motl, Robert
Department / Program:Kinesiology & Community Health
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Abstract:While a relatively new area of study, current literature shows exercise interventions to be highly successful at reducing symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and comorbid psychological conditions (e.g., anxiety & depression). Purpose: Examine the acute effects of a bout of moderate intensity continuous aerobic exercise (MIA) and a bout of high-intensity interval exercise (HIIE), relative to a no-exercise sedentary control (SED), in participants with subsyndromal PTSD. Methods: Participants [N= 24, 15 females; age (M ± SD); 25.9 ± 9.2 yrs; Estimated VO2peak (M ± SD); 34.6 ± 10.2 ml·kg-1·min-1] completed each of three randomly ordered 35-min conditions (HIIE, MIA, SED), followed by a 40-minute recovery/monitoring period. Subsyndromal PTSD was defined as having at least one symptom in each of the major DSM-5 clusters for PTSD. Affect (Energy, Tiredness, Tension, Calmness), State Anxiety, and Depression were assessed before (Pre), immediate after (Post0), 20-minutes after (Post20), and 40-minutes after (Post40) each condition. Exercise enjoyment was assessed immediately after each condition (Post0), and in-task affective valence was assessed every 5-minutes during MIA and SED, and after each set of exercise and rest during HIIE. Results: Anxiety and Depression were significantly reduced following all conditions, with larger effects observed for both HIIE and MIA relative to SED (although not significant). Post exercise enjoyment was not different between HIIE and MIA, but both were enjoyed more relative to SED. While in-task affective valence was significantly less positive during HIIE relative to both MIA and SED, and affective valence was significantly less positive during MIA relative to SED, affective valence was not different between conditions at Post40. All participants experienced a significant increase in affective valence at Post40 relative to Pre. Energy was significantly increased Post HIIE and MIA, while Energy was significantly decreased post SED. Additionally, Tension was significantly decreased and Calmness significantly increased by 40 minutes Post all conditions. Conclusion: This study is the first to assess the acute changes in psychological outcomes to various modes of exercise in individuals living with subsyndromal PTSD. Overall, both exercise conditions were well tolerated and significantly reduced anxiety, depression, and tiredness, while also significantly increasing energy and affective valence. With emerging evidence on the effectiveness of HIIE, this study gives ample evidence to explore a longitudinal study on HIIE effects within a population living with PTSD.
Issue Date:2017-06-07
Rights Information:Copyright 2017 Daniel Greene
Date Available in IDEALS:2017-09-29
Date Deposited:2017-08

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