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Easy rider wheelchair biking

Author(s): Fitzsimmons S


The results of this study show a positive effect on depression levels in older adults through use of a psychosocial intervention and physical activity.


Depression is a common condition among long-term care residents with limited treatment options available. There are few nonpharmacological interventions available to this population. This study examined the use of a prescribed, therapeutic recreation-nursing intervention, wheelchair biking, for treatment of symptoms of depression in older adults in a long-term care setting. A classical experimental design was used and was guided by the Roy Adaptation Model. Forty residents were pretested for depression and randomly assigned to two groups. A 2-week trial of biking therapy was provided to the treatment group. All participants were posttested. Findings indicated there was a statistically significant improvement in depression scores for the treatment group and no significant change for the control group. This study contributes to the body of knowledge of nursing regarding options for the treatment of depression in older adults, and is an encouraging indicator that psychosocial interventions may be effective in reducing depression.

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