Rather than depression and anxiety symptoms being treated as isolated disorders, their likely ‘comorbidity’ should be accounted for by exercise researchers.
That’s according to a recent CQUniversity-led letter to The Lancet Psychiatry journal.
First author Dr Amanda Rebar says the letter is a ‘call to arms’ for mental healthcare professionals and exercise and mental healthcare researchers who “know very little about the effects of exercise on comorbid depression and anxiety disorders”.
“It is time to ensure patients with depressive and anxiety disorders receive evidence-based exercise prescription,” she says.
“We highlight the need to diagnose, research, and treat this commonly overlooked scenario.
“Potential participants with comorbid depression and anxiety should be included in trials to understand the effects of exercise treatment on depression and anxiety symptoms within this common population.
“Researchers must describe the co-presentation of depression and anxiety in study populations and test whether this moderates treatment effects.”
(Source: Central Queensland University, The Lancet Psychiatry)