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Indoor rock climbing (bouldering) as a new treatment for depression: study design of a waitlist-controlled randomized group pilot study and the first results.

Luttenberger K, Stelzer EM, Först S, Schopper M, Kornhuber J, Book S - BMC Psychiatry (2015)

Bottom Line: Cohen's d was calculated as a measure of the effect size.The NNT was four.Further research is required.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Medical Psychology and Medical Sociology, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Clinic for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Schwabachanlage 6, 91054, Erlangen, Germany. katharina.luttenberger@uk-erlangen.de.

ABSTRACT

Background: Depression is one of the most common diseases in industrialised nations. Physical activity is regarded as an important part of therapeutic intervention. Rock climbing or bouldering (rock climbing to moderate heights without rope) comprises many aspects that are considered useful, but until now, there has been hardly any research on the effects of a bouldering group intervention on people with depression. The purpose of this controlled pilot study was twofold: first, to develop a manual for an eight-week interventional program that integrates psychotherapeutic interventions in a bouldering group setting and second, to assess the effects of a bouldering intervention on people with depression.

Methods: The intervention took place once a week for three hours across a period of eight weeks. Participants were randomly assigned to the two groups (intervention vs. waitlist). The intervention group began the bouldering therapy immediately after a baseline measurement was taken; the waitlist participants began after an eight-week period of treatment as usual. On four measurement dates at eight-week intervals, participants completed the Beck Depression Inventory II (BDI-II), the symptom checklist-90-R (SCL-90), the questionnaire on resources and self-management skills (FERUS), and the attention test d2-R. A total of 47 participants completed the study, and the data were analysed with descriptive statistics. Cohen's d was calculated as a measure of the effect size. For the primary hypothesis, a regression analysis and the Number Needed to Treat (NNT) (improvement of at least 6 points on the BDI-II) were calculated.

Results: After eight weeks of intervention, results indicated positive effects on the measures of depression (primary hypothesis: BDI-II: Cohen's d = 0.77), this was supported by the regression analysis with "group" as the only significant predictor of a change in depression (p = .007). The NNT was four.

Conclusions: These findings provide the first evidence that therapeutic bouldering may offer an effective treatment for depression. Further research is required.

Trial registration: Current controlled trials, ISRCTN17623318 , registered on July 15(th) 2015.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Consort flow chart
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Fig2: Consort flow chart

Mentions: Participants were recruited for the study in four different ways: In the two psychiatric hospitals in Erlangen, informational material was laid out and contact details were given so that either the participants or their physicians could apply for study participation. In addition, the same informational material was sent to all psychotherapists in town and also to other services that provide care for people with depression, such as self-help groups or other initiatives. Furthermore, nonbinding informational events were announced in newspapers and via the Internet so that any interested people could participate. Interested participants were informed about the study by the therapists in a face-to-face meeting and provided written consent. They were randomly assigned to one of the two groups: intervention or waitlist. We computer generated a randomisation list for each group at t0 (Treatment group1 (T1) and Waitlist group 1 (W1) together and groups T2 and W2 together; see Consort Flow Chart Fig. 2), assigning half of the participants to the treatment group and the other half to the waitlist group. In some cases, randomisation was not possible because the maximum number of participants had been reached in a group; in a few cases, if a participant was not available on more than two Thursday mornings in one of the two eight-week periods, he or she was assigned to the other time period. Baseline data were collected from all participants, including the WHO screening test on depression (WHO-5 www.who-5.org).Fig. 2


Indoor rock climbing (bouldering) as a new treatment for depression: study design of a waitlist-controlled randomized group pilot study and the first results.

Luttenberger K, Stelzer EM, Först S, Schopper M, Kornhuber J, Book S - BMC Psychiatry (2015)

Consort flow chart
© Copyright Policy - OpenAccess
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License 1 - License 2
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4548691&req=5

Fig2: Consort flow chart
Mentions: Participants were recruited for the study in four different ways: In the two psychiatric hospitals in Erlangen, informational material was laid out and contact details were given so that either the participants or their physicians could apply for study participation. In addition, the same informational material was sent to all psychotherapists in town and also to other services that provide care for people with depression, such as self-help groups or other initiatives. Furthermore, nonbinding informational events were announced in newspapers and via the Internet so that any interested people could participate. Interested participants were informed about the study by the therapists in a face-to-face meeting and provided written consent. They were randomly assigned to one of the two groups: intervention or waitlist. We computer generated a randomisation list for each group at t0 (Treatment group1 (T1) and Waitlist group 1 (W1) together and groups T2 and W2 together; see Consort Flow Chart Fig. 2), assigning half of the participants to the treatment group and the other half to the waitlist group. In some cases, randomisation was not possible because the maximum number of participants had been reached in a group; in a few cases, if a participant was not available on more than two Thursday mornings in one of the two eight-week periods, he or she was assigned to the other time period. Baseline data were collected from all participants, including the WHO screening test on depression (WHO-5 www.who-5.org).Fig. 2

Bottom Line: Cohen's d was calculated as a measure of the effect size.The NNT was four.Further research is required.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Medical Psychology and Medical Sociology, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Clinic for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Schwabachanlage 6, 91054, Erlangen, Germany. katharina.luttenberger@uk-erlangen.de.

ABSTRACT

Background: Depression is one of the most common diseases in industrialised nations. Physical activity is regarded as an important part of therapeutic intervention. Rock climbing or bouldering (rock climbing to moderate heights without rope) comprises many aspects that are considered useful, but until now, there has been hardly any research on the effects of a bouldering group intervention on people with depression. The purpose of this controlled pilot study was twofold: first, to develop a manual for an eight-week interventional program that integrates psychotherapeutic interventions in a bouldering group setting and second, to assess the effects of a bouldering intervention on people with depression.

Methods: The intervention took place once a week for three hours across a period of eight weeks. Participants were randomly assigned to the two groups (intervention vs. waitlist). The intervention group began the bouldering therapy immediately after a baseline measurement was taken; the waitlist participants began after an eight-week period of treatment as usual. On four measurement dates at eight-week intervals, participants completed the Beck Depression Inventory II (BDI-II), the symptom checklist-90-R (SCL-90), the questionnaire on resources and self-management skills (FERUS), and the attention test d2-R. A total of 47 participants completed the study, and the data were analysed with descriptive statistics. Cohen's d was calculated as a measure of the effect size. For the primary hypothesis, a regression analysis and the Number Needed to Treat (NNT) (improvement of at least 6 points on the BDI-II) were calculated.

Results: After eight weeks of intervention, results indicated positive effects on the measures of depression (primary hypothesis: BDI-II: Cohen's d = 0.77), this was supported by the regression analysis with "group" as the only significant predictor of a change in depression (p = .007). The NNT was four.

Conclusions: These findings provide the first evidence that therapeutic bouldering may offer an effective treatment for depression. Further research is required.

Trial registration: Current controlled trials, ISRCTN17623318 , registered on July 15(th) 2015.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus