Category: Health Psychology / Behavioral Medicine - Adult

Symposium

Symposium 67 - Novel Applications and Mechanistic Investigations of Exercise for Mood and Anxiety

Saturday, November 18
8:30 AM - 10:00 AM
Location: Sapphire Ballroom O & P, Level 4, Sapphire Level

Keywords: Exercise | Mood | Anxiety
Presentation Type: Symposium

Although cognitive behavioral therapy and pharmacotherapy currently are considered first-line treatments for affective disorders, studies suggest that up to 34% of depressed and 43% of anxious patients do not respond to these interventions.  Additionally, approximately 50% of individuals do not seek treatment due to lack of access to care, stigma, or cost of treatment.  Therefore, alternatives that are both efficacious and accessible are needed; exercise represents one such alternative.


Meta-analyses suggest that stand-alone exercise interventions are efficacious in treating depression (Stathopoulou et al., 2006; Cooney et al., 2013) and anxiety (Wipfli et al., 2008) at medium to large effect sizes.  A recent meta-analysis also indicated that exercise enhances overall quality of life in depressed patients (Schuch et al., 2016).  Finally, meta-analysis and clinical trial data have suggested that the effect of exercise on depressive symptoms is in a similar range to that of antidepressants (Kvam et al., 2016; Blumenthal et al., 2007).

Recently, studies have shifted focus to examining the pathways by which exercise improves anxiety and mood symptoms, including the role of distress intolerance (anxiety sensitivity-AS) and emotion regulation in both moderating the efficacy of exercise interventions and in mediating effects on distress-related behaviors. Also, there are open questions about strategies by which to prescribe exercise for depressed individuals, and the effects of exercise on in-the-moment affective processing. 


The symposium will open with Kristin Szuhany, MA discussing the benefits of a brief behavioral activation intervention in sedentary, depressed patients for promoting exercise and subsequently enhancing mood.  She will be followed by Lorra Garey, MA presenting results of a randomized controlled trial in which smokers receiving an adjunctive exercise intervention evidenced lower AS and dysphoria following treatment which impacted success in smoking cessation.  Then, Aubrie Potteiger will present data from a study exploring low-intensity exercise as an emotion regulation strategy with findings demonstrating beneficial effects of exercise on both positive and negative affect.  Finally, Emily Bernstein, MA will examine the benefit of exercise on rumination and emotion regulation in individuals with low coping self-efficacy.  The symposium will conclude with Dr. Michael Otto discussing the clinical relevance of promoting exercise for mood interventions as well as future directions for study of mechanistic factors involved in the pathway by which exercise exerts its effects on mood. 

Learning Objectives:

M. Alexandra Kredlow

Graduate Student
Boston University

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Kristin L. Szuhany

Graduate Student
Montefiore Medical Center

Presentation(s):

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Michael W. Otto

Professor
Boston University

Michael W. Otto, PhD, is Professor in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at Boston University. He has had a major career focus on developing and validating new psychosocial treatments for anxiety, mood, psychotic, and substance use disorders, with a particular focus on treatment refractory populations. This includes a translational research agenda investigating brain-behavior relationships in therapeutic learning. His focus on hard-to-treat conditions and principles underlying behavior-change failures led him to an additional focus on health behavior promotion, including investigations of addictive behaviors, medication adherence, sleep, and exercise. Across these health behaviors, he has been concerned with cognitive, attention, and affective factors that derail adaptive behaviors, and the factors that can rescue these processes. He also investigates exercise as an intervention for affective and addictive disorders, as well as for cognitive enhancement. He has over 400 publications spanning his research interests, and was identified as a “top producer” in the clinical empirical literature, and an ISI Highly Cited Researcher. He is a Past President of the Association of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, and is currently President of Division 12 of the American Psychological Association.

Presentation(s):

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Kristin L. Szuhany

Graduate Student
Montefiore Medical Center

Presentation(s):

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Lorra Garey

Graduate Student
University of Houston

Presentation(s):

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Aubrie Potteiger

Undergraduate Student
Albright College

Presentation(s):

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Emily E. Bernstein

Graduate Student
Harvard University

Presentation(s):

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