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1- Recreation Professions Program, School of Human Sciences, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL 62901 -4310 USA
2- Sport Administration Program, School of Human Sciences, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL 62901 -4310 USA , parkm@siu.edu
Abstract:   (527 Views)
Background. Depression is one of the major public health concerns among older adults (1). Participation in preferred leisure activities has been found to be effective for reducing the symptoms of depression among this population (2). Objectives. The purpose of this study was to conduct a meta-analysis of the association between leisure participation and depression. Methods. A systematic review of PubMed, Academic Search Complete, PsycINFO, and Google Scholar yielded 12 studies published between 2010 and 2020 (total participants = 10,681) that met the criteria for a meta-analysis. Comprehensive Meta-Analysis Software (CMA) was used to conduct the data analysis, and the correlation coefficient r was used as the effect size. Results. The average effect size across all 12 studies was -.221 (Fisher’s Z = -5.696, P < .001), indicating that participation in leisure activities had a significant negative effect on depression for the elderly. In addition, the Q-value (116.003, P < .001) and the I-squared value (90.517) proved substantial heterogeneity between the 12 studies in the meta-analysis. The symmetrical funnel plot produced by the CMA analysis demonstrated a possible absence of publication bias. Conclusion. This meta-analytic study reinforced the effectiveness of leisure participation in reducing the symptoms of depression among older adults.
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APPLICABLE REMARKS
Considering the benefit of conducting meta-analysis by combining the results of multiple studies, it would be worthwhile to investigate the impact of leisure activities among different ethnic/cultural/gender groups to determine if the effect sizes are homogeneous.
Additionally the categorization or classification of preferred leisure activities can also be determined depending on different aspects of group.
Given our current study used depressive symptoms as a dependent variable, a future study may examine the similar mental health outcomes including anxiety, distress, or sadness.
The results of the present study may be applicable not only to older adults without disabilities but also to those who have specific disabilities (e.g., dementia, Alzheimer, or arthritis).
A majority of older adults have limited access to leisure programs and are lacking social contacts outside their homes during the COVID-19 pandemic. Thus, it is important for health care and leisure professionals to develop preferred leisure activities that older adults can safely participate in during COVID-19 restrictions.

Type of Study: Systematic Review/Meta Analysis | Subject: Sport Psychology and its Related Branches
Received: 2020/12/15 | Accepted: 2021/01/12

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