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The effectiveness of Group CBT and Exercise in management of Depression: Protocol for a three arm randomized controlled pilot trial Background: Despite strong evidence in scientific literature indicating the effectiveness of CBT in management of Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and some clinical trials presenting physical exercise as an effective treatment for the disorder, the probable synergistic effect of a combined therapy with both has never been studied. Objectives: To evaluate and compare the effectiveness of group CBT alone, scheduled physical exercise alone, and a combination of those in the management of MDD. Design: This prospective rater-blinded randomized controlled trial assessing the benefits for patients with major depressive disorder who will be randomly assigned to one of the three arms of the study for 12 weeks and will be assessed at baseline, 6 and 12 weeks. Their assessment will cover primary outcomes including recovery variables, functional variables (quality of life, employment) and symptom variables (changes in depressive symptoms scores, overall outcomes). Secondary client outcomes will be service variables (patient’s satisfaction with the service). Hypothesis: We hypothesize that patients with MDD assigned to the CBT only and the Exercise only arms of the study will achieve similar outcomes whereas those assigned to the CBT plus Exercise arm will achieve superior outcomes. Results: Statistical analysis of the findings of this study will guide the design of future, more highly powered studies by providing estimates for the calculation of sample and effect sizes regarding clinically meaningful difference between the intervention and control groups.