Effects of aquatic exercise on depression and anxiety in ischemic stroke subjects


Background: Stroke ranks third and is the leading cause of permanent disability in western countries. Furthermore there are no treatments for the psychosocial effects of this pathology. Purpose: Analyse the effect of an aquatic exercise program in depression and trace and state anxiety in subjects who suffered an ischemic stroke. Methods: Two groups were analyzed: experimental group (EG) n = 15, 50.3 ± 9.1 years; control group (CG) n = 13, 52.5 ± 7.7 years. EG underwent a 12-week aquatic exercise program. Both groups were evaluated in pre and post- treatment using Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) and Trace State Anxiety Inventory (IDATE). Wilcoxon signed-rank and Mann-Whitney tests were used to compare moments and groups, respec- tively. Results: The BDI scores of aquatic activities were: pre-treatment, 17.4 ± 7.7 and 16.9 ± 8.6 for the EG and CG, respectively; post-treat- ment, 13.2 + 7.1 and 16.4 + 7.9 for the EG and CG, respectively. The IDATE scores for anxiety trace in strength training were: pre-treatment, 43.2 + 12.5 and 42.9 + 12.2 for the EG and CG, respec- tively; post-treatment, 39.7 + 7.1 and 42.6 + 12.1 for the EG and CG, respectively. The IDATE scores for anxiety state in strength training were: pre-treatment, 46.9 + 7.6 and 47.4 + 8.1 for the EG and CG, respectively; post-treatment, 44.4 + 7.9 and 47.5 + 8.0 for the EG and CG, respectively. Significant differences were found in pre and post-treatment values in the EG and between groups in the depression and trace and state anxiety levels in post-treatment (p < 0.05). Conclusions: Aquatic physical activity contributes to an improvement of the levels of depression and anxiety in people who suffered a stroke.

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Aidar, F. , Garrido, N. , Silva, A. , Reis, V. , Marinho, D. and de Oliveira, R. (2013) Effects of aquatic exercise on depression and anxiety in ischemic stroke subjects. Health, 5, 222-228. doi: 10.4236/health.2013.52030.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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