Abstract Title:

Aerobic training for improved memory in patients with stress-related exhaustion: a randomized controlled trial.

Abstract Source:

BMC Psychiatry. 2017 Sep 2 ;17(1):322. Epub 2017 Sep 2. PMID: 28865430

Abstract Author(s):

Therese Eskilsson, Lisbeth Slunga Järvholm, Hanna Malmberg Gavelin, Anna Stigsdotter Neely, Carl-Johan Boraxbekk

Article Affiliation:

Therese Eskilsson


BACKGROUND: Patients with stress-related exhaustion suffer from cognitive impairments, which often remain after psychological treatment or work place interventions. It is important to find effective treatments that can address this problem. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the effects on cognitive performance and psychological variables of a 12-week aerobic training program performed at a moderate-vigorous intensity for patients with exhaustion disorder who participated in a multimodal rehabilitation program.

METHODS: In this open-label, parallel, randomized and controlled trial, 88 patients diagnosed with exhaustion disorder participated in a 24-week multimodal rehabilitation program. After 12 weeks in the program the patients were randomized to either a 12-week aerobic training intervention or to a control group with no additional training. Primary outcome measure was cognitive function, and secondary outcome measures were psychological health variables and aerobic capacity.

RESULTS: In total, 51% patients in the aerobic training group and 78% patients in the control group completed the intervention period. The aerobic training group significantly improved in maximal oxygen uptake and episodic memory performance. No additional improvement in burnout, depression or anxiety was observed in the aerobic group compared with controls.

CONCLUSION: Aerobic training at a moderate-vigorous intensity within a multimodal rehabilitation program for patients with exhaustion disorder facilitated episodic memory. A future challenge would be the clinical implementation of aerobic training and methods to increase feasibility in this patient group.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT03073772 . Retrospectively registered 21 February 2017.

Study Type : Human Study
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