A randomized, controlled clinical trial of education & physical training for women with fibromyalgia (FM)

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OBJECTIVE: To determine the effectiveness of self-management

education and physical training in decreasing fibromyalgia

(FMS) symptoms and increasing physical and psychological well

being.

METHODS: A pretest-posttest control group design was

used. Ninety-nine women with FMS were randomly assigned to 1

of 3 groups; 86 completed the study. The education only group

received a 6-week self-management course. The education plus

physical training group received the course and 6 h of

training designed to assist them to exercise independently.

The control group got treatment after 3 months.

RESULTS: The

experimental programs had a significant positive impact on

quality of life and self-efficacy. Helplessness, number of

days feeling bad, physical dysfunction, and pain in the tender

points decreased significantly in one or both of the treated

groups when retested 6 weeks after the end of the program.

Longterm followup of 67 treated subjects showed significant

positive changes on the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire

primarily in the physical training group. Among all subjects,

87% were exercising at least 3 times/week for 20 min or more;

46% said they had increased their exercise level since

participating in the program; 70% were practicing relaxation

strategies as needed; 46% were working at least half time as

opposed to 37% at pretest.

CONCLUSION: Self-efficacy of the

treated groups was enhanced significantly by the program.

Other changes were smaller and more delayed than had been

expected. Recommendations for future trials include a longer

education program, more vigorous physical training, and

longterm followup.

Burckhardt CS, Mannerkorpi K, Hedenberg L, Bjelle A

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