The risk of depression in elderly individuals

This study aims at investigating whether there is significant difference between depressed and non depressed individuals level of physical activity. The study will involve two groups of participants: depressed and non depressed groups. Depressed individuals will be selected on the criteria that an individual has been in the past diagnosed with chronic or acute depression in any of the hospitals in the location while non depressed participant will be people who have never been diagnosed with depression in their life time. Data from both groups will be collected through time series analysis where the physical activity of the participants will be monitored three times a day at regular intervals during the day. This will be followed by analysis of temporal dynamic for participants between physical activity and depression through investigation of vector autoregressive. Each participant in the study will be required to fill a self- registration form for 3 times of a day. In addition each participant will be fitted with accelerometer to monitor their motions to determine their physical activity. The research will be based in name of the location.

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Time series approach will be used for objective comparison between the two types of the study groups. This will give adequate information on the state depressed individuals and those that are not on the nature of their physical fitness that reflect direct to their physical activities. Mood of the participants will be measured using positive and negative affect schedule (PANAS; Watson, Clark and Tellegen 1988). The positive affects will include the following terms as related to the study; active, excited, alert, attentive, enthusiastic, determined, proud, inspired, strong, and proud in addition to happiness (Ingram, 2009). On the other hand negative affects will include afraid, hostile, ashamed, guilty, distressed, guilty, irritable, nervous, jittery, sacred, and scared in addition to sadness (Ingram, 2009). Other factors contributing to physical inactivity in both the groups under study will be considered so that a better conclusion on the research question can be reached. Consequently, questionnaires will be a rich tool to examine the past history of the two groups under the study so as to be able to get details on their physical activities for a given period of time.

The data on physical activities between the two groups of people will be entered and analyzed using various appropriate statistical tools such as statistical package for social scientists (SPSS). The data will be compared between the participants with depression and those without so as to determine whether there is significant difference between patients’ with depression and those without. Further, depression will be investigated whether it affects the physical fitness of a person thus affecting his or her physical activities.

Elective period description

The elective period will involve data collection from both the group of participants by use of time series analysis and questionnaires. The data that will be collected will then be analysed using various statistical methods in order to compare the findings in relation to the study question.

Depression is a condition that is becoming common to populations in the world. It is among the five non-communicable diseases that are prevalent across social class in societies (Bloom et al, 2011). The burden of the condition has continued to increase year and year and it was found recently to be between 10 and 15% globallyThe condition is associated with negative effects to the quality of health and life, which are major determinants of physical activity in patients diagnosed with it (Onat, Delialioğlu, & Uçar, 2014). The main symptoms of depression are depression mood and lack of interests in various activities. The depression condition has been linked with physical inactiveness. The physical inactivity has been the major hindrance to depression treatments because of impaired body metabolic processes (Teychenne, Ball, & Salmon, 2008). Therefore, the physical activity presents is an important indicator of depression

Depression is caused by environmental, biochemical and genetic factors. Some environmental causes include marital conflicts, stress due to loss of employment, death of a close relative, and other social related issues (Chen et al, 2014). Biochemical factors include depletion of monoamine and hormonal imbalances that might be triggered by environmental factors. Genetic factors have also been linked to depression where some genes mutations that are inherited in family lineages cause heredity transfer of the condition (Chen et al, 2014). The numerous causes has led to increased incidences of depression and so there is need to find ways in which the effect of the condition can be reduced so as to ensure high quality of life and health among populations (Hafslund, Espehaug, & Nortvedt, 2012).

It has well been documented that patients with depression experiences physical inactivates. However, much of the studies carried out on the relationship between depression and physical activities have showed inconsistence (Teychenne et al, 2008). People that have not experienced depression experiences decreased physical inactivity that has been related to other causes other than depression. Few studies have been conducted to compare how physical activities differ between these two groups of populations.

Physical activity is an important factor in remission of depressed patients (Dinas, Koutedakis, & Flouris, 2011; Azar et al, 2010). Therefore, it is important to study the physical activity in depressed people and compare it with non depressed people. Any significant difference between the two groups will be important in therapeutic management of depression and thus lowering its burden.

This research study investigates whether there is significant difference between depressed and non depressed individual physical activities in name of the location of the study. The population has its own characteristics in terms of social, ethnic and economic characteristics.

A problem statement/question

Physical activity is an important therapeutic consideration in depressed people. However, few studies have been conducted and therefore inadequate data is available to ascertain physical inactivity as one of the factors in depressed people. To contribute more on this data, the research aim to address the question, if there are difference between depressed and non depressed individual’s physical activity.

Indication of the importance/significance of the study

This study will highly target audience from medical profession, rehabilitation centre who are particularly involved in management of depression, patients suffering from depression, and communities at large. The results of the study will be expected to increase and build on the knowledge on how depression relates to the physical activities thus improving depression management and treatment. The outcome will be important to health profession in making decision on what type of management that should be adapted to depressed patients. Moreover, the results will help policy makers in health care system to develop appropriate policies that will help health care providers to deal with the condition. Therefore, the study will impact positively to health care system. The study will increase knowledge to patients with depression and help them to increase physical activity thus reducing the negative impact of depression. Hence, the study will play an important role in reducing the burden of depression globally. Moreover, this study will form the basis in which other similar studies can be conducted and developed.

Hypotheses statement

Do depressed and non-depressed individuals differ significantly on their levels of physical activities?

The null hypothesis will be there is no significant difference between the depressed and non depressed individual physical activities while the alternative will be that there is significant difference between depressed and non depressed physical activity.

Detailed work plan

In the figure 1 below, the research process will involve reassessment period of two weeks. During the two weeks prior to the study, potential participants will be notified through posters and meetings and the whole procedure of the study communicated so as to prepare them for the whole period. In addition, the period will involve screening of depressed participants as detailed below. At the end of the 2 weeks, a sample of 30 depressed and 30 non depressed participants will be drawn. This will be followed by the research process that will take a period of one month (4 weeks). The actual data collection process will take place in this place and the research tools will be employed at this phase. Data analysis processes will take place for a period of 4 weeks, which will be followed by report completion and submission that is estimated that will take place for 2 weeks. This will mark the end of the research study processed.

The project will run for one month (30 days) for both groups of individuals. The data will be collected 3 times a day for the entire period for both self reported reports and questionnaires detailing participants past physical activity. The accelerometers will be inserted to patients for the entire period of the study so as to monitor their movement or motion during the period of the study. A total of 60 participants will form the study sample. 30 will be depressed patients recruited from outpatient clinic in the name of the hospital. On the other hand, 30 non depressed patients will be recruited from the general population who have never been diagnosed with depression.

The participants’ inclusion criteria will involve of age of between 20 and 50 years limit; able to complete the whole study for 30 days through filling self reports and wearing accelerometer for 24 hours the entire period. To determine illegibility of depressed participants they will be screened for depressive symptoms using various depression diagnostic protocols such as Beck depressions inventory (Stulz, & Crits-Christoph, 2010). Similarly, non-depressive patients will be assessed using the same diagnostic evaluator to prevent erroneous inclusion of depressed participant in non depressed sample. The importance of carrying out the assessment before the study is to ensure that participants are placed correctly in the study groups. On the other hand, the participants will be excluded in the study if they have been diagnosed of Psychotic Disorder or Bipolar Disorder; Somatic disorders mainly affecting HPA axis function, or under ANS- Medication, which affects HPA function and visual-hearing impairments, and finally pregnant participants will be excluded through carrying out a pregnancy test). The self report will be used to measure depressive symptoms (time analysis series). This will involve a regular measurement at the frequency of three times a day for three months. Self report is an important tool that measures depressed symptoms in a more reliable way thus giving high valid results (Uher et al, 2012). In addition to self report, questionnaires will be used to measure depression symptoms.

The data collection will involve self-filled reports and questionnaires. In addition, readings on accelerometers will be monitored in 24 hours and the readings recorded on self-report for 30 days. Questionnaires that will be conducted inform of interviews are expected to give the outcome of the patients depression history and the physical activities. The time series analysis is expected to give details of events and physical activities on time interval that will be recorded in the self-report. The accelerometer is expected to give the results on the motion of the participant throughout the study period. The motion of the participants will be important in determining how active the participant has been during the study.

Expected results

The outcome of this study is expected to answer the study question. The expected results will be that there is significant difference between depressed and non depressed patients. Depressed patients are expected to show decreased activities while non depressed participants are expected to show increased physical activities thus linking depression to physical inactiveness. Decreased physical is a characteristic of depressed people and therefore, an increase in physical activity in theses people is associated with positive impact of depression by decreasing it.

Plan for elective period

The research will involve a period of 30 days to carry the actual study by administering questionnaires, monitoring time series analysis, and accelerometer. The other period that will be few weeks will involve data analysis and writing of the project report to finality. This will ensure that the desired objective of the study will be accomplished within the study period.


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