Depression and anxiety in patients with musculoskeletal pain harm health and exercise can be effective in improving the condition of these patients. This study was aimed at systematically reviewing and providing a meta-analysis of the effect of exercise training on improving depression and anxiety in patients with musculoskeletal pain.
The search was done in three databases including PubMed, the Cochrane Library, and Google Scholar up to August 2021. For each of the studies included in the meta-analysis, the mean, standard deviation, and sample size were extracted in the post-test, and the effect size was calculated. Publication bias and heterogeneity were assessed in studies at the end of the analysis.
Nineteen randomized control trials were included in the meta-analysis. Exercise training has a positive effect on depression in patients with musculoskeletal pain, so exercise reduces depression and Hedges’ g was equal to −0.21, with confidence intervals of −0.40, −0.02. Exercise training has a positive effect on anxiety in patients with musculoskeletal pain, so exercise reduces anxiety and Hedges’ g was equal to −0.63, with confidence intervals of −1.08, −0.19.
It was found that exercise training is effective in improving depression and anxiety in patients with musculoskeletal pain and therefore this treatment should be given more attention from clinical specialists.