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Leisure activities and depressive symptoms in older adults with cognitive complaints

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  24 August 2015

Gina Poelke*
Affiliation:
University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco VA Medical Center, CA, USA
Maria I. Ventura
Affiliation:
University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco VA Medical Center, CA, USA
Amy L. Byers
Affiliation:
University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco VA Medical Center, CA, USA
Kristine Yaffe
Affiliation:
University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco VA Medical Center, CA, USA
Rebecca Sudore
Affiliation:
University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco VA Medical Center, CA, USA
Deborah E. Barnes
Affiliation:
University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco VA Medical Center, CA, USA
*
Correspondence should be addressed to: Gina Poelke, PhD, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco VA Medical Center, 870 Market Street, Suite 1123, San Francisco, CA 94102, USA. Phone: +415-952-6505; Fax: +415-750-6669. Email: gpoelke@gmail.com.

Abstract

Background:

Depressive symptoms are common in older adults and associated with increased risk of cognitive impairment. Leisure activities are often promoted for individuals with mood symptoms but few studies compare the effects of different types of leisure activities on reducing depressive symptoms.

Methods:

Data were analyzed from participants enrolled from 2008–2009 in the Mental Activity and eXercise (MAX) Trial, which examined the effects of physical plus mental activity over 12 weeks in inactive older adults with cognitive complaints. There were no significant differences between intervention groups on the primary outcome of cognitive function or the secondary outcome of depressive symptoms; therefore, all participants were combined for the current analyses in which we examined changes in leisure activity engagement (Community Healthy Activities Model Program for Seniors (CHAMPS)), and changes in depressive symptoms (Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS)) as a function of changes in leisure activity engagement from baseline to post-intervention.

Results:

Participants’ mean age was 73.0 years, 61.6% were female, and 63.6% were non-Hispanic white. There was a significant change in total hours per week engaged in leisure activities from baseline (36.7 hours, SD = 12.7) to post-intervention (40.4 hours, SD = 15.7; paired t-test p = 0.02), and mean change in depressive symptoms was significantly inversely correlated with change in leisure activity hours such that increases in total leisure activity were associated with decreases in depressive symptoms (r = −0.21, p = 0.04).

Conclusions:

Increasing the total amount of leisure activity levels may help lower depressive symptoms in inactive older adults with cognitive complaints.

Type
Research Article
Creative Commons
This is a work of the U.S. Government and is not subject to copyright protection in the United States.
Copyright
Copyright © International Psychogeriatric Association 2015

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