The impact of exercise on depressive symptoms in older Hispanic/Latino adults: results from the ‘¡Caminemos!’ study

Rosalba Hernandez, Flavia Cristina Drumond Andrade, Lissette M. Piedra, Karen M. Tabb, Shuo Xu, Catherine Sarkisian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: We examined the prospective effects of an evidence-based exercise intervention on depressive symptoms in older Hispanics/Latinos and the potential synergistic effects (if any) of an attribution-retraining component to counter negative ascriptions to the aging process. Method: We analyzed baseline, 1-, 12-, 24-month data collected from Hispanics/Latinos ≥ 60 years participating in an exercise intervention (“¡Caminemos!”) across 27 senior centers (N = 572). All participants were given 4 weekly 1-hour group-based exercise classes targeting strength training, endurance, balance and flexibility. In addition, they were randomly assigned to one of two conditions: a) treatment group–a 1-hour attribution retraining session where participants were taught that aging does not mean one inevitably becomes sedentary, or b) control group–generic health education. The Geriatric Depression Scale was used to assess depressive symptoms. Covariates included age, sex, education, income, marital status, acculturation, and number of chronic conditions. Results: In prospective analyses, participants in both trial arms displayed lower scores for depressive symptoms at 12- (β1 = –0.17, p = 0.04) and 24-months (β2 = –0.33, p < 0.001) when compared to baseline values. Conclusion: Given expected growth of the older Hispanic/Latino adult population, exercise programs are a promising strategy in promoting favorable mental health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)680-685
Number of pages6
JournalAging and Mental Health
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 3 2019


  • Older Hispanic/Latino adults
  • age reattribution
  • depressive symptoms
  • exercise intervention
  • randomized trial

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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