A randomized, controlled trial of exercise & education for patients with fibromyalgia

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the efficacy of a 6-week exercise and

educational program for patients with fibromyalgia.


Forty-one subjects were randomly assigned to the program or

served as waiting list controls. Program outcome was assessed

with a 6-minute walk test, the Fibromyalgia Impact

Questionnaire, a Self-Efficacy Scale, and a “knowledge”

questionnaire (based on information provided during the

educational sessions). Waiting list control subjects

subsequently completed the program. Program outcome was

reassessed 3 or 6 months post-program.

RESULTS: The program

produced significant improvements in 6-minute walk distance,

well-being, fatigue, self-efficacy (for controlling pain and

other symptoms), and knowledge. At followup, immediate gains

in walk distance, well-being, and self-efficacy were

maintained, but gains in fatigue and knowledge were lost.

CONCLUSION: Short-term exercise and educational programs can

produce immediate and sustained benefits for patients with

fibromyalgia. The benefits of our program may be due to

exercise or education since both interventions were given.

Gowans SE, deHueck A, Voss S, Richardson M

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