Introduction: Multiple sclerosis (M.S) is one of the most common chronic diseases of the central nervous system. The chronic nature of the disease, lack of prognosis, lack of any definitive cure and affecting the individual in the young age will cause several mental disorders in patients, including depression and low rate of happiness.
Objective: Evaluation the effect of aquatic exercise programs on depression and happiness levels of the patients with multiple sclerosis (M.S).
Methodology: In evaluating this quasi-experimental research, 40 patients with M.S. with grades 1 to 4 were randomly divided into two experimental and control groups. The exercise program was performed for the experimental group for eight weeks, three sessions per week with 50-60 percent of the maximum heart rate. The depression and happiness rates were evaluated using the Beck Depression questionnaire and the Oxford Happiness questionnaire at intervals before and after the exercise. Analysis of the data was performed by independent t test, and the data normalization was evaluated using the Kolmogorov-Smirnov test.
Results: The test group, regarding the depression level (p < 0.001) and happiness level (p < 0.002) after exercise had significant changes compared to the pre-exercise time. Thus, the mean differences for depressions and happiness levels of these two groups were obtained respectively as 4.65 and -7.80.
Conclusion: Regular aquatic exercise provides more productive emotional communications and also causes the improvement of depression and increased happiness in M.S. patients. Hence, doing these exercises is recommended as an effective non-pharmacologic therapy method in addition to drug therapy.