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Depression – Reduces social isolation

Evidence Summary (Updated 2022)
The consensus following the expert group opinion in April 2018 was that group physical activity if preferred by the patient can reduce social isolation. Meta-analyses of 5 RCTs comparing exercise to the usual care showed a non-statistically significant moderate effect on the social Quality of Life domain (SMD=0.28, 95% CI -0.13 to 0.71, p = 0.18).(33)
Mind, has reiterated this benefit with Get Set to Go, which reached people with depression/anxiety and found benefits for PA and increased social support on the peer support programme.(8)

Quality of Evidence
Grade C – Low quality
Strength of recommendation
Grade 1 – Strong recommendation
There is limited evidence that physical activity improves social outcomes. The expert group re-iterated that participation in group activities is only recommended if it is the patient’s choice but peer support programmes are a positive way to encourage physical activity and reap the benefits.


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