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Document Type



• Purpose: Determine the effectiveness of exercise as either monotherapy or in combination with SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) for the management of major depressive disorder.

• Studies gathered for this review came from the following databases: PubMed, SpringerLink, Academic Search Ultimate, Academic Search Complete, and CINAHL.

• Review of current research that was completed between the years 2020-2023 that consisted of either clinical trials, RCTs, or meta-analysis. • Upon completion of the literature review: exercise is equivocal to SSRIs as a treatment option. While this is a significant finding, the benefits of exercises are more consistent in those that adhere to a program and are more effective if prescribed in combination with SSRIs.

• It would require providers to have the knowledge and awareness of appropriate exercise modalities and resources available to the patients. It is also vital that providers offer support to patients and encourage compliance with their programs.


Physician Assistant Studies

Degree Name

Master of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS)

Date of Work


First Advisor

Kauffman, Russell

Publication Date

Spring 2024


depression, depressive disorders, antidepressives, escitalopram, exercise, exercise movements/techniques, exercise therapy, running, at-home exercise, Pilates, application-based exercise, antidepressive agents, Lexapro


Physical Sciences and Mathematics

Let’s Move! Benefits of Exercise Compared to SSRIs (escitalopram) for the Management of Depression: Research from 2020 and Beyond