Volume 29, Issue 11 (1-2023)                   RJMS 2023, 29(11): 136-145 | Back to browse issues page

Research code: 1475283
Ethics code: 1
Clinical trials code: 1

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Mohammad AliPour M, Keser Özcan N, Mohammad Alipour R, Barzegari A, Nuriyan E. The Effect of Aerobic Exercise on Serum Serotonin Levels, Depression and Quality of Life in Pregnant Women with Depression. RJMS 2023; 29 (11) :136-145
URL: http://rjms.iums.ac.ir/article-1-6837-en.html
Department of Midwifery, Cerrahpaşa Faculty of Health Science, Istanbul University, Istanbul, Turkey; Department of Midwifery, Islamic Azad University, Khalkhal Branch, Khalkhal, Iran , monir.alipor@yahoo.com
Abstract:   (709 Views)
Background & Aims: Depression during pregnancy is one of the problems that may sometimes occur for some pregnant women. Many mothers also show the first signs of postpartum depression during their pregnancy. Feeling depressed is always difficult, and it can be a little harder during pregnancy because pregnant mothers are expected to have a happy life. Research shows that about 33% of women experience depression or anxiety disorder during pregnancy. While less than 20% of them seek treatment, and in most cases, treatment alone is not enough. The risk of depression in women during pregnancy is higher than ever. The estimated risk of depression during pregnancy is between 7% and 15% in developed countries and between 19% and 25% in weaker countries. Biological changes during pregnancy also have a direct effect on a person's mood and behavior. During pregnancy, the concentration of female sex hormones increases and changes the parts of the brain that are involved in mood settings. There is also a gradual increase in the concentration of the hormone cortisol, which is involved in the stress system, and high levels of this hormone have been found in people with depression. Depression is one of the most common mental health problems in the world. It is characterized by a depressed mood most hours of the day and almost every day, a marked decrease in interest or enjoyment of all activities, weight loss, or severe overweight without diet. Sleep or oversleeping almost every day, irritability or mental slowness of movement almost every day, feelings of worthlessness or extreme and disproportionate guilt, loss of concentration, recurring thoughts about death, and significant clinical impairment in social functioning and a job is specified. Due to the importance of the consequences of depression in pregnant women, such as depression affect mental health and quality of life, as well as the role of exercise and its relationship with mental health, it is important to research in this field. Therefore, due to limited trial studies, inconsistencies, and ambiguities in the effectiveness of interventions, limited research has been done on the effect of aerobic exercise in pregnant women with depression, so the purpose of this study is to answer the question of whether 8 weeks Does aerobic exercise affect serotonin and depression levels and quality of life in pregnant women with depression?
Methods: In this study, 24 pregnant women with depression were randomly divided into two groups of exercise (n = 12) and control (n = 12). The aerobic exercise group performed moderate intensity aerobic exercise for 45 minutes for 12 weeks and three sessions per week. In addition to routine care, the intervention group participated in a 12-week aerobic program. Aerobic exercise for eight weeks (three sessions per week) included warming up, core exercise, and cooling down. Exercise for 15 minutes and included stretching and flexibility specific to the large muscle group in the upper and lower body. The main exercise consisted of continuous walking so that the person walked in a slow rhythm so that the foot was on the ground for a moment and the heart rate was maintained within 60% of the maximum heart rate. The intensity of training was 60% of the maximum heart rate in the initial sessions, which gradually decreased from the 27th week of pregnancy with the growth of the fetus to 45% of the maximum heart rate in the final sessions. In the first session, the exercises started from 10 minutes and in each session, one minute was added to the training time until the tenth session, which reached 20 minutes, and then remained constant at 20 minutes until the end (until the end of 36 training sessions). The control group performed its daily activities during this period. Serum serotonin levels were measured by ELISA, and levels of depression and quality of life were measured using a standard questionnaire before and after exercise. Data were analyzed using dependent t-test and independent t-test.
Results: The results of the study of serotonin changes after the intervention showed that the level of serotonin in the experimental group in the post-workout period compared to the pre-workout period increased significantly (P <0.001). Also, changes in depression and quality of life showed that there was a significant increase in the experimental group in the post-workout period compared to the pre-workout period (P <0.05). There is a significant difference between the two groups (P = 0.02; P = 0.05; P = 0.04, respectively).
Conclusion: Most studies on serotonin secretion and depression indicate that exercise increases and decrease depression and there is a significant relationship between increased serotonin and decreased depression. The results of the present study showed that the selected aerobic exercise caused a significant increase in plasma serotonin concentration. Also, increasing plasma-free serotonin is effective in reducing depression and the role of serotonin receptors and their increase due to exercise should not be overlooked. On the other hand, a significant decrease in depression was observed in the experimental group that the relationship between these two variables was also significant. In general, the findings of this study showed that aerobic exercise has been able to be effective as a therapeutic strategy in the treatment of depression and increase the quality of life of pregnant women with depression and with a certain volume and intensity and appropriate to the characteristics of subjects. Reduce the level of depression and bring their mood closer to normal.
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Type of Study: Research | Subject: Clinical Psychiatry

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