Walking away from depression-motor activity increases ratings of mood and incentive drive in patients with major depression

Bettina Heike Bewernick, Anne Sarah Urbach, Arndt Bröder, Sarah Kayser, Thomas E. Schlaepfer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Reduced motor activity is associated with depression. Lewinsohn's cognitive behavioural model of depression assumes a lack of positive experience due to a reduced level of activity as a key aspect of depression. The acute relationship between motor activity and mood as well as between motor activity and incentive drive (the motivation to engage in activities) is unknown. An augmentation of mood and incentive drive could precede or follow motor activity. We examined (1) whether motor activity would be correlated with the course of depression and (2) the temporal relationship between motor activity and acute changes in mood and incentive drive. Motor activity was measured with actigraphy in 12 patients with depression for one week. Severity of depression was assessed before and at the end of the study with depression rating scales. The patients reported mood and incentive drive once per hour. With lag sequential analysis, the temporal relationship between motor activity and mood and incentive drive was evaluated. Higher motor activity was associated with depression improvement. Motor activity had an acute association with mood and incentive drive, especially one hour after activity. The results support the Lewinsohn's model of depression and underline the impact of behavioural activation in antidepressant treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)68-72
Number of pages5
JournalPsychiatry Research
Volume247
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

Keywords

  • Actigraphy
  • Behavioural activation
  • Depression
  • Lag sequential analysis
  • The Lewinsohn's model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry

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