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Authors

Cindy McCrea

Department

Social Sciences

Disciplines

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Abstract

Research has documented the effects of some alternative methods on mood: exercise (Legrand & Heuze, 2007), diet (Appleton et al., 2007) and supplementation with micronutrients such as iron (Beard et al., 2005), fatty acids (Nemets et al, 2002) and St. John’s wort (Mulrow, 2005), for example, have all demonstrated an ability to positively affect mood. It is unknown to what extent this research has been disseminated or implemented into practice. Procedure: Mental health care practitioners (n = 306) in Idaho were randomly surveyed. Items measuring knowledge and use of the following three methods were asked: exercise, diet, supplementation. Results: Sixty-eight percent of respondents had encountered exercise as a mood disorder treatment option in professional discussion within the last 2 years, 44.7% had encountered dietary methods and 46.5% had encountered supplemental methods in the same context. Sixty-six percent (n=204) of respondents indicated that they used exercise methods to treat mood disorders, 35% (n=108) reported using dietary measures and 19% (n=60) reported using supplemental methods. Specific types of exercise, dietary and supplemental methods used-e.g. yoga, St. John’s wort, etc-are also discussed. Conclusions: The use of some alternative methods for the treatment of mood disorders is common in mental health care practitioners.

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Faculty Mentor

Dr. Mary E. Pritchard