OBJECTIVE: To determine the effectiveness of self-management
education and physical training in decreasing fibromyalgia
(FMS) symptoms and increasing physical and psychological well
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.
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
Burckhardt CS, Mannerkorpi K, Hedenberg L, Bjelle A