Research Reports - Walking to ameliorate stress and depressive symptoms in people with a traumatic brain injury

Brain Inj. 2014 Oct 30:1-7

Bellon K(1), Kolakowsky-Hayner S, Wright J, Huie H, Toda K, Bushnik T, Englander J

Abstract Objective: To determine whether a 12-week home-based walking programme
can decrease perceived stress and depressive symptoms in persons with a traumatic
brain injury (TBI). Setting: Community- and home-based. Participants: Sixty-nine
participants with a TBI. Design: Comparative effectiveness cross-over design with
random assignment to treatment sequence and blinded post-hoc assessment of
outcome where participants completed a 12-week walking intervention and a
nutrition education module. The walking intervention utilized pedometers to track
the amount of steps each participant walked daily. With the assistance of an
assigned coach, weekly goals were given with the intent of increasing the amount
of walking that the participant was initially completing. The nutrition control
group was created to offset the impact of the coaching calls. Main measures:
Measurement of perceived stress and depressive symptoms was completed through the
use of the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) and Center for Epidemiological
Studies-Depression (CES-D). These measures were collected at three time points:
baseline and following each 12-week intervention. Results: Results indicated that
both perceived stress and depression symptoms significantly improved following
the walking intervention. Conclusions: While limitations existed with the study,
it is evident that walking can be used as an efficient and cost-effective tool to
manage perceived stress and depressive symptoms in persons who have sustained a

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