Home-based activity program for older people with depressive symptoms: DeLLITE–A randomized controlled trial

Kerse, Ngaire, Hayman, Karen J., Moyes, Simon A., Peri, Kathy, Robinson, Elizabeth, Dowell, Anthony, Kolt, Gregory S., Elley, C. Raina, Hatcher, Simon, Kiata, Liz, Wiles, Janine, Keeling, Sally, Parsons, John, & Arroll, Bruce (2010) Home-based activity program for older people with depressive symptoms: DeLLITE–A randomized controlled trial. Annals of Family Medicine, 8(3), pp. 214-223.

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We wanted to assess the effectiveness of a home-based physical activity program, the Depression in Late Life Intervention Trial of Exercise (DeLLITE), in improving function, quality of life, and mood in older people with depressive symptoms.


We undertook a randomized controlled trial involving 193 people aged 75 years and older with depressive symptoms at enrollment who were recruited from primary health care practices in Auckland, New Zealand. Participants received either an individualized physical activity program or social visits to control for the contact time of the activity intervention delivered over 6 months. Primary outcome measures were function, a short physical performance battery comprising balance and mobility, and the Nottingham Extended Activities of Daily Living scale. Secondary outcome measures were quality of life, the Medical Outcomes Study 36-item short form, mood, Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS-15), physical activity, Auckland Heart Study Physical Activity Questionnaire, and self-report of falls. Repeated measures analyses tested the differential impact on outcomes over 12 months’ follow-up.


The mean age of the participants was 81 years, and 59% were women. All participants scored in the at–risk category on the depression screen, 53% had a Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders or International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision diagnosis of major depression or scored more than 4 on the GDS-15 at baseline, indicating moderate or severe depression. Almost all participants, 187 (97%), completed the trial. Overall there were no differences in the impact of the 2 interventions on outcomes. Mood and mental health related quality of life improved for both groups.


he DeLLITE activity program improved mood and quality of life for older people with depressive symptoms as much as the effect of social visits. Future social and activity interventions should be tested against a true usual care control.

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ID Code: 62614
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: activity program, depressive symptoms, older people, aged care, residential care, long term care
DOI: 10.1370/afm.1093
ISSN: 1544-1709
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Primary Health Care (111717)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety - Qld (CARRS-Q)
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Deposited On: 17 Sep 2013 23:45
Last Modified: 29 Oct 2013 04:14

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