Preventive approach Definition and explanation Clinical examples in for the field of physical activity in the treatment and prevention of depression
Strategies that involve the whole population. Provided without screening. Environmental design andmodification (e.g. green space development, walkway modification); cross-governmental initiatives; internet-based promotions; informational programs for the general public [44]
Strategies that involve targeted subpopulations whose risk of developing a disorder is above average. Involves identified exposure to specific risk factors.  Risk factors for depression [69,88,89] :
  • Pre-existing disease: e.g. psychiatric illness (e.g. anxiety disorder, age-related cognitive dysfunction, substance-related disorders); general medical conditions (e.g. cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes)
  • Health related behaviors: e.g. psychological stress; physical inactivity; alcohol, tobacco and other drugs; sleep disruption; dietary factors.
  • Biological factors: e.g. interferon therapy; pro-inflammatory conditions; S/S 5-HTTLPR genotype
Strategies aimed at subjects who have early and sub-threshold symptoms and signs of illness. Involves a screening process. Sub-threshold depression; early intervention.
Strategies to avoid occurrence of disease. As per universal and selective approaches.
Strategies to diagnose and treat existent diseases in early stages before significant morbidity occur. Relapse prevention; attenuation of episode duration and severity of episode; early intervention.
Strategies to reduce negative impact of existent disease by restoring function and reducing disease-related complications. Prevention of cognitive decline; prevention of psychotropic drug use and therefore reduced side effects; prevention of catatonia; prevention of adverse effects of illness on social and occupational functioning.