Comparing the Effects of Group and Home-based Physical Activity on Mental Health in the Elderly

Seyede Salehe Mortazavi, Mohsen Shati, Hassan Eftekhar Ardebili, Kazem Mohammad, Reza Dorali Beni, Ammar Hassanzadeh Keshteli


Aims: The present study focuses on comparing the effects of home-based (HB) and group-based (GB) physical activity on mental health in a sample of older adults in Shahr-e-kord.

Methods: In this quasi-experimental study, a twice-weekly physical activity program for 2 months was provided either individually at home or in a group format for 181 people who were divided into two groups (HB and GB). The outcome, mental health, was measured with the 28-item General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-28).

Results: Mental health status improved after participation in the physical activity program. The decrease in GHQ-28 total score in GB group, 3 months after intervention, was 3.61 ± 2.28 (P < 0.001). In HB group, this reduction was 1.20 ± 2.32 during the same period (P < 0.001). The difference of these “before–after differences” between the two groups in the GHQ-28 and all its subscales was statistically significant (P < 0.001). Also, the effects of GB physical activity on mental health compared with HB physical activity, adjusted for related baseline variables, were significant.

Conclusions: These findings reveal the probable effects of GB rather than HB physical activity on mental health among the elderly.

Keywords: Elderly, group-based physical activity, home-based physical activity, mental health

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