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Papers of the Week

Papers: 22 Aug 2020 - 28 Aug 2020


Human Studies

2020 Sep

Health Psychol



Moderated mediation for exercise maintenance in pain and posttraumatic stress disorder: A randomized trial.


Scioli ER, Smith BN, Whitworth JW, Spiro A, Esterman M, Dutra S, Bogdan KM, Eld A, Rasmusson AM
Health Psychol. 2020 Sep; 39(9):826-840.
PMID: 32833484.


This study utilizes the Science of Behavior Change (SOBC) experimental medicine approach to evaluate the effects of a 3-month, individually prescribed progressive exercise training program on neurobiological, cognitive and motivational mechanisms by which our exercise-training paradigm may foster exercise maintenance. We will investigate hypothesized relationships between exercise-training associated augmentation of neuropeptide Y (NPY) system function and improvements in self-regulation and reward sensitivity-cognitive control and motivational processes posited to promote self-efficacy and intrinsic motivation, which have been shown to predict exercise maintenance. This study will recruit Veterans with chronic low back pain and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Procedures include a baseline, acute cardiopulmonary exercise challenge assessment that will inform the exercise prescription for a 12-week progressive exercise training program comprised of three 45-minute aerobic exercise sessions per week-all of which will be supervised by an exercise physiologist. Additionally, a week-7 and week-14 exercise challenge assessment will track changes in NPY system function and the variables of interest. We hypothesize that increases in the capacity to release NPY in response to acute exercise testing will be associated with improvements in self-regulation and reward sensitivity, which will in turn be associated with self-efficacy and intrinsic motivation to maintain regular exercise. Ninety participants will be randomized either to the "active exercise training condition" or to the "wait list symptom monitoring condition". The study aims to demonstrate the feasibility of procedures and elucidate mechanisms relevant to developing individually prescribed, motivationally based exercise regimens to reduce negative consequences of PTSD and low back pain over the long-term. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved).