J Behav Med. 2019 Jul 1. Epub 2019 Jul 1. PMID: 31264055
Pilot randomized controlled trial of exercise training for older veterans with PTSD.
Exercise training positively impacts mental health, yet remains untested in older adults with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). We conducted a randomized controlled pilot trial to test the feasibility and acceptability of exercise training in older veterans with PTSD. Fifty-four veterans≥ 60 years, with a DSM-V diagnosis of PTSD, were randomized to supervised exercise (n = 36) or wait-list (WL; n = 18). Primary outcomes included recruitment rates, attendance, satisfaction, and retention. Secondary outcomes included changes in PTSD symptoms, depression, health-related quality of life, and sleep quality; assessed at baseline and 12 weeks. There were no adverse events. Attrition was minimal (14%), and adherence to the exercise intervention was high (82%). Clinically significant improvements in PTSD and related conditions were observed following exercise (Cohen's d = 0.36-0.81). Exercise training is safe and acceptable in older adults with PTSD, may improve PTSD symptoms, and broadly impacts PTSD-related conditions. Future definitive trials are warranted.