Effects of Physical Exercise on Executive Function in Adults with Depression: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis Protocol

Falonn Contreras-Osorio, Rodrigo Ramirez-Campillo, Enrique Cerda-Vega, Rodrigo Campos-Jara, Cristian Martínez-Salazar, Rafael E. Reigal, Verónica Morales-Sanchez, Sergio Araya Sierralta, Christian Campos-Jara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Physical exercise is a low-cost and easy-to-implement therapeutic option proposed to reduce the negative effect of depression on the executive function cognitive dimension, including working memory, inhibition, and cognitive flexibility. Although a considerable amount of scientific literature on the topic is currently available, the effects of physical exercise interventions on the executive functions in adults with depression remain unclear. The aim of this review protocol is to synthesize the effects of physical exercise interventions on executive functions in adults with depression. Databases including Web of Science, PubMed, Scopus, and EBSCO will be searched for studies by combining keywords and different medical subject headings to identify and evaluate the relevant studies from inception up to September 2022. This study will consider longitudinal studies (duration, ≥3 weeks) with a minimum of one experimental group and pre- and post-intervention measurements involving adults with depression aged 18–65 years. Studies will be included if these reported ≥1 measures of executive function, including dimensions of working memory, inhibition, and cognitive flexibility. The Physiotherapy Evidence Database (PEDro) scale will be used to assess the methodological quality of studies. The DerSimonian and Laird random-effects model will be used for meta-analyses, with effect size (ES, i.e., Hedges’ g) values reported with 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs), and p ≤ 0.05 will indicate statistical significance. The ES values will be calculated for working memory, inhibition, and cognitive flexibility in the experimental and control groups before and after the intervention program. Our results can help professionals and stakeholders in making better evidence-based decisions regarding the implementation of physical exercise programs in adults with depression and providing relevant information to facilitate the functional performance of this population in complex daily tasks where executive functions are essential. No ethical approval is required for this study. PROSPERO registration number: CRD42022358339.

Original languageEnglish
Article number15158
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Volume14
Issue number22
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022

Keywords

  • cognitive flexibility
  • depressive disorder
  • executive function
  • exercise
  • inhibition
  • mental processes
  • neurocognitive disorders
  • working memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Building and Construction
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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