New training program against depression

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New sports program: doctors are fighting depression with sports

At the Hannover Medical School (MHH), psychiatrists and sports scientists have jointly presented a new sports program for patients with depression. On Friday at MHH the starting signal was given for testing the training program "Active out of the low mood". The sports program was designed for implementation in sports clubs and is intended to help the approximately four million depression patients in Germany to tackle their illness in everyday life.

Training program "Active out of the mood depression" should help depressives If the newly developed sports program shows the desired success, the sports clubs across Germany could make a significant contribution to the treatment of depression in the future. The training program specially developed for people with depression is essentially based on moderate endurance training, with "walking, light running training and playful exercises" being part of the "Active out of the mood" program, explained the sports scientist Dr. Olaf Hoos from the Philipps University Marburg. According to the current MHH communication, “an estimated four million people in Germany” suffer from a form of the common illness, depression, which is worth treating. “It is known that many affected people help exercise. Unfortunately, however, the widespread spread of the disease is only offset by a small range of specific sports and exercise therapies, ”explained Professor Dr. Marc Ziegenbein, Deputy Director of the MHH Clinic for Psychiatry, Social Psychiatry and Psychotherapy. The newly developed sports program for depressed people offers a remedy here and "the participants also receive information on how they can make their own training in the long term", says Dr. Olaf Hoos continues.

Reduction of depressive symptoms through new sports program When presenting the new sports program for depressed people, the scientists emphasized that it was desirable that offers with the lowest possible threshold find their place in the everyday life of sports clubs, since not only exercise itself has a positive effect on the disease, but also Club sports also contribute to better social integration and destigmatization of patients. The effectiveness of the program is now being tested on 50 patients in the “SV Eintracht Hannover” sports club, with the participants meeting three times a week for training units of 45 to 60 minutes. According to the researchers, the sporting activities are primarily intended to reduce depressive symptoms and improve body awareness. "In addition, the increasing physical fitness should also reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases," says the statement in the MHH press release. Furthermore, the self-assessment of the depressed with regard to the health-promoting aspects of sport is promoted and the patients learn to continue the exercise program independently. The control group is provided by the Würzburg riot police, where a corresponding number of participants also complete the program.

Training module for clinics, sports clubs and health facilities By testing the "Active from the mood low" training program, the researchers also hope to find out "which type of exercise and which training intensity are particularly suitable for accompanying therapy for depression", explained Professor Dr. Petra Garlipp, executive senior physician at the MHH Clinic for Psychiatry, Social Psychiatry and Psychotherapy. The goal is "a proven training module that other clinics, sports clubs and health facilities can use," said the MHH press release. In this way, depression patients could be given broader access to exercise and sports programs tailored to them. The researchers hope that in the future the program “Active out of the mood depression” will be part of everyday life in the clubs as well as back exercises or courses for cardiac patients.

Integration of sports clubs a good idea The head of the sports psychiatry unit of the German Society for Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Neurology and director of the Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics at the University Hospital Aachen, Prof. Frank Schneider, explained to the news agency “dpa "It was" a really good idea to get the sports clubs on board. "Because in psychiatric clinics, physical activity as part of physiotherapy is a matter of course in every treatment, but in the outpatient area there are no corresponding physical activity offers for mentally ill people," says Prof. Schneider .

The program was developed by psychiatrists from the MHH Clinic for Psychiatry, Social Psychiatry and Psychotherapy as well as sports scientists from the universities of Würzburg and Marburg. The training method is now being tested in cooperation with a sports club in Hanover and supported financially by the Robert Enke Foundation. (fp)

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Picture: Professor Petra Garlipp, Dr. Olaf Hoos, Teresa Enke, Professor Marc Ziegenbein, Rolf Jägersberg and Rita Girschikofsky

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