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DeLLITE Depression in late life: an intervention trial of exercise. Design and recruitment of a randomised controlled trial

DOI: 10.1186/1471-2318-8-12

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The Depression in Late Life: an Intervention Trial of Exercise (DeLLITE) is a 12 month randomised controlled trial of a physical activity intervention to increase functional status in people aged 75 years and older with depressive symptoms. The intervention involves an individualised activity programme based on goal setting and progression of difficulty of activities delivered by a trained nurse during 8 home visits over 6 months. The control group received time matched home visits to discuss social contacts and networks. Baseline, 6 and 12 months measures were assessed in face to face visits with the primary outcome being functional status (SPPB, NEADL). Secondary outcomes include depressive symptoms (Geriatric Depression Scale), quality of life (SF-36), physical activity (AHS Physical Activity Questionnaire) and falls (self report).Due to report in 2008 the DeLLITE study has recruited 70% of those eligible and tests the efficacy of a home based, goal setting physical activity programme in improving function, mood and quality of life in older people with depressive symptomatology. If successful in improving function and mood this trial could prove for the first time that there are long term health benefit of physical activity, independent of social activity, in this high risk group who consume excess health related costs.Australian and New Zealand Clinical Trials Register ACTRN12605000475640Depression is a common condition in older people, affecting between 17 and 30% of community dwellers over the age of 65 years [1]. Depression can be associated with significant disability, adverse health outcomes, poor quality of life and excess mortality [2] and thus is a significant concern for older people.Treatment of depression in older people has limitations. Pharmaceutical interventions have potential side effects and potentiate drug interactions which can be particularly hazardous in older people. Psychological therapies [3] are limited by their availability in many sett

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