School of Nursing


Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)


Lynne Sanders


Depression, Exercise, Elderly, Long-term Facility, Nursing Home, Activity, Fitness




Depression is common among older adults in long-term care (LTC) facilities. As many as 50%-80% of residents will experience depressive symptoms or have a diagnosis of depression. Depression increases the risk of poor health-related outcomes in older adults. A review of the literature suggests that early intervention using movement-based techniques decreases the risk for depression and improves depressive symptoms. This scholarly project aimed to reduce the risk of depression of residents in an LTC located in a suburban area in Midwestern United States. The LTC facility and a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) student implemented the Chair One Fitness program for 30 minutes, two times per week, for three months. The facility leadership collected a sampling of residents’ Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ9) scores to evaluate the intervention’s effect on the risk for depression. Eleven residents had a PHQ9 score collected before and after the intervention time period. Data analysis using descriptive statistics and a Pearson Correlation Coefficient demonstrated that there was no correlation for the change in PHQ9 scores with intervention attendance. Some residents’ PHQ9 scores improved, some worsened, and some stayed the same in both those that attended the intervention and those that did not attend. While it is well documented in literature that there is a correlation between depression and physical activity, the project team was unable to demonstrate that this fitness program had a correlational effect on the risk for depression for these residents.

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