RESEARCH QUESTION: Does Online "Working Out Work" as a Treatment and Prevention for Depression in Older Adults? An Analysis of a Prescribed and Monitored Exercise Program Administered via the Internet for Senior Adults with Depression.
OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study is to investigate and access the effectiveness of an online prescribed and monitored exercise program for the treatment of depression in Older Adults. The Dependent Variable for the study is Depression. The Independent Variable for the study is the Effects of Exercise administered via the Internet and the population is geriatric adults defined as senior adults aged 50 and older. Depression is defined by Princeton University Scholars (Wordnet, 2006) as a mental state characterized by a pessimistic sense of inadequacy and a despondent lack of activity.
METHODS: The presence and severity of depression will be assessed by using The Merck Manual of Geriatrics (GDS-15) Geriatric Depression Scale. Assessments will be performed at baseline, before and after the treatment is concluded. The subjects will complete the Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire (PAR-Q) prior to participating in an exercise program three times per week.
LIMITATIONS OF RESEARCH: The limitations of this study are: 1) There is a small sample size limited to Senior Adults aged 50 - 80, and 2) there is no control group with structured activity or placebo, therefore researcher is unable to evaluate if the marked improvement was due to a non-specific therapeutic effect associated with taking part in a social activity (group online exercise program). Further research could compare and analyze the positive effects of a muscular strength training exercise program verses a cardiovascular training exercise program.