Using COVID-19 Pandemic as a Prism: A Systematic Review of Methodological Approaches and the Quality of Empirical Studies on Physical Activity Behavior Change.
Frontiers in sports and active living. 2022;:864468
Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of scientific endeavors. The goal of this systematic review is to evaluate the quality of the research on physical activity (PA) behavior change and its potential to contribute to policy-making processes in the early days of COVID-19 related restrictions. Methods: We conducted a systematic review of methodological quality of current research according to PRISMA guidelines using Pubmed and Web of Science, of articles on PA behavior change that were published within 365 days after COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO). Items from the JBI checklist and the AXIS tool were used for additional risk of bias assessment. Evidence mapping is used for better visualization of the main results. Conclusions about the significance of published articles are based on hypotheses on PA behavior change in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Results: Among the 1,903 identified articles, there were 36% opinion pieces, 53% empirical studies, and 9% reviews. Of the 332 studies included in the systematic review, 213 used self-report measures to recollect prepandemic behavior in often small convenience samples. Most focused changes in PA volume, whereas changes in PA types were rarely measured. The majority had methodological reporting flaws. Few had very large samples with objective measures using repeated measure design (pre and during the pandemic). In addition to the expected decline in PA duration, these studies show that many of those who were active prepandemic, continued to be active during the pandemic. Conclusions: Research responded quickly at the onset of the pandemic. However, most of the studies lacked robust methodology, and PA behavior change data lacked the accuracy needed to guide policy makers. To improve the field, we propose the implementation of longitudinal cohort studies by larger organizations such as WHO to ease access to data on PA behavior, and suggest those institutions set clear standards for this research. Researchers need to ensure a better fit between the measurement method and the construct being measured, and use both objective and subjective measures where appropriate to complement each other and provide a comprehensive picture of PA behavior.
Resistance training for Black men with depressive symptoms: a pilot randomized controlled trial to assess acceptability, feasibility, and preliminary efficacy.
BMC psychiatry. 2022;(1):283
BACKGROUND Depression is under-recognized in Black men, who are less likely to seek or have access to psychiatric treatment. Resistance training (RT; i.e., weight lifting) can improve depressive symptoms and may be more acceptable to Black men, but its effects have not been examined for Black men with depressive symptoms. METHODS Fifty Black men with depressive symptoms were randomized to either (a) 12 weeks of RT (coupled with Behavioral Activation techniques to promote adherence) or (b) an attention-control group (Health, Wellness, and Education; HWE). Both groups met twice/week for 12 weeks, and follow-up assessments were done at end-of-treatment (EOT) and 6 months after enrollment. Changes in physical activity and muscular strength were collected as a manipulation check. The primary outcome was interviewer assessed symptoms of depression using the Quick Inventory of Depression Symptomology (QIDS). Secondary outcomes included self-reported depressive symptoms, anxiety, and stress. The association between change in QIDS from baseline to EOT and concurrent changes in physical activity and muscular strength in the RT group were explored as an initial assessment of mechanism. Longitudinal mixed effects regression models with subject-specific intercepts were used to examine intervention effects. RESULTS A sample with high rates of medical comorbidities (e.g., 44% HIV positive), substance use (e.g., 34% smoking), and negative social determinates of health (e.g., 50% unemployed) was enrolled. Recruitment, engagement, and retention data indicate that the intervention and design were feasible. The RT group showed greater gains in self-reported exercise (b = 270.94, SE = 105.69, p = .01) and muscular strength (b = 11.71, SE = 4.23, p = .01 for upper body and b = 4.24, SE = 2.02, p = .04 for lower body) than the HWE group. The RT group had greater reductions in QIDS scores at both EOT (b = -3.00, SE = 1.34, p = .01) and 6 months (b = -2.63, SE = 1.81, p = .04). The RT group showed a greater reduction in anxiety at EOT (b = -2.67, SE = 1.06, p = .02). Findings regarding self-reported depressive symptoms and stress were non-significant, but in the expected direction with effect sizes in the small to medium range. In the RT group, improvement on the QIDS between baseline and EOT was associated with concurrent improvements in physical activity (b = 21.03, SE = 11.16, p = .02) and muscular strength (b = 1.27, SE = .44, p = .03 for upper body and b = .75, SE = .14, p = .03 for lower body). CONCLUSIONS Results suggest that RT is feasible and may be efficacious for reducing depressive symptoms among underserved urban Black men. TRIAL REGISTRATION ClinicalTrial.gov #: NCT03107039 (Registered 11/04/2017).
Exercise and antiretroviral adherence in adults living with HIV: A systematic review.
Journal of health psychology. 2020;:1359105320967421
This systematic review assessed the relationship between exercise and ART adherence in adults living with HIV. A comprehensive search through June 2020 for relevant studies was conducted, and PRISMA guidelines were followed. To be included, studies had to meet the following criteria: (a) published in a peer-reviewed journal; and (b) examined the relationship between exercise and ART adherence. A total of 4310 studies were identified, and nine were included. The majority (five out of nine) of studies found a significant and positive relationship between exercise and ART adherence. Strengths, limitations, and future directions are discussed.
Feasibility of Resistance Exercise for Posttraumatic Stress and Anxiety Symptoms: A Randomized Controlled Pilot Study.
Journal of traumatic stress. 2019;(6):977-984
Emerging evidence suggests that exercise may beneficially affect posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS), but few randomized trials exist. Additionally, the effects of resistance exercise (i.e., weight lifting or strength training) on PTSS have not been thoroughly examined. This study aimed to explore the feasibility of a brief high-intensity resistance exercise intervention for PTSS and related issues, such as anxiety, sleep, alcohol use, and depression, in non-treatment-seeking adults who screened positive for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and anxiety. The sample included 30 non-treatment-seeking, urban-dwelling adults (M age = 29.10 years, SD = 7.38; 73.3% female) who screened positive for PTSD and anxiety and were randomly assigned to either a 3-week resistance exercise intervention or a time-matched contact control condition. The results suggest the intervention was feasible, with 80.0% (n = 24) of participants completing the study, 88.9% of the resistance exercise sessions attended, and no adverse effects reported. Additionally, resistance exercise had large beneficial effects on symptoms of avoidance, d = 1.26, 95% CI [0.39, 2.14]; and hyperarousal, d = 0.90, 95% CI [0.06, 1.74], relative to the control condition. Resistance exercise also produced large improvements concerning sleep quality, d = 1.31, 95% CI [0.41, 2.21], and hazardous alcohol use, d = 0.99, 95% CI [0.13, 1.86], compared to the control condition. Overall, the findings suggest that 3 weeks of high-intensity resistance exercise is a feasible intervention for PTSS reduction in non-treatment-seeking adults who screen positive for PTSD and anxiety; additional research is needed to verify these preliminary findings.
Exercise and mental health of people living with HIV: A systematic review.
Chronic illness. 2017;(4):299-319
Objective Mental illness is highly prevalent among people living with HIV. Poor mental health is linked to HIV disease progression, making the treatment of mental illness alongside HIV essential. While the benefits of exercise on the physical health of people living with HIV are well established, the effect of exercise on mental health in this population is less examined. Therefore, this study aimed to conduct a systematic literature review of the effects of exercise on mental health in people living with HIV. Methods A search of electronic databases (PubMed, Web of Science, PsycINFO) through 30 November 2016 was completed. The methodological framework for scoping studies was used to conduct the review process. RISMA guidelines were used to report the results. Results The search resulted in 2273 articles and 52 were determined to be relevant. After review of the full text of potentially relevant studies, 24 studies were included for the analysis. Discussion Both aerobic and resistance exercise have independent and combined positive effects on various indicators of mental health in people living with HIV. Major limitations include high attrition rate, small sample size, and poor study designs. Higher quality studies with more diverse populations such as women, older adults, and transgender individuals are required.