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Exercise Enhances

1 February 2020 until 31 December 2024
Project member(s)
M. Schmitter (Michele) Dr J.N. Vrijsen (Janna) Prof. J. Spijker (Jan) Prof. I. Tendolkar (Indira) D. Creemers (Daan) , Jasper Smits , Tessa van Doessum , Ben Wijnen , Annemarie Derksen , Peter Ostelbos
Project type

Exercise is an effective treatment for depression and covered by Dutch health insurances in the specialized mental health care setting. In fact, exercise is just as effective as cognitive behavioral therapy or antidepressant medication in reducing depressive symptoms. In addition, exercise also improves cognitive abilities, such as memory and learning, and somatic risk factors often seen in depression. Given these benefits, exercise has the potential to be an effective addition to depression care as usual (CAU). Our research project aims to investigate whether exercise enhances CAU by examining whether patients receiving exercise+CAU recover faster and have fewer relapses compared to those receiving only CAU. Additionally, we will assess the cost-effectiveness of exercise treatment and explore ways to better implement exercise into mental health care.


Schmitter, M., Spijker, J., Smit, F., Tendolkar, I., Derksen, A. M., Oostelbos, P., ... & Vrijsen, J. N. (2020). Exercise enhances: study protocol of a randomized controlled trial on aerobic exercise as depression treatment augmentation. BMC psychiatry, 20(1), 1-11.




Pro Persona, Radboudumc (verrichter), GGNet, Depressie Vereniging, Trimbos instituut, GGZ Oost Brabant, University of Texas at Austin

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