Abstract: A randomized clinical trial of an individualized home-based exercise programme for women with fibromyalgia

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Rheumatology (Oxford). 2005 Jul 19; [Epub ahead of print]

Da Costa D, Abrahamowicz M, Lowensteyn I, Bernatsky S, Dritsa M, Fitzcharles MA, Dobkin PL.

Division of Clinical Epidemiology, McGill University Health Centre, Montreal, Canada; Department of Medicine, McGill University, Montreal, Canada.

Objective. To determine the efficacy of a 12-week individualized home-based exercise programme on physical functioning, pain severity and psychological distress for women with fibromyalgia (FM).

Methods. Seventy-nine women with a primary diagnosis of FM were randomized to a 12-week individualized home-based moderate-intensity exercise programme or to a usual care control group.

Outcomes were functional capacity (Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire), pain severity and psychological distress. Outcomes were measured at study entry, at the end of the 12-week intervention, and at 3 and 9 months following completion of the intervention.

Results. On the basis of intention-to-treat analyses, a significant improvement in functional capacity at 3 and 9 months following treatment for participants in the exercise group who were more functionally disabled at study entry was observed. At both 3 and 9 months post-treatment, the mean estimated benefit of the intervention was more than 10 points [-12.3 (95% CI, -21.9 to -2.8); -10.8 (95% CI, -21.5 to -0.2)].

Compared with the control group, statistically significant improvements in upper body pain were evident in the exercise group at post-treatment. These between-group differences in upper body pain were maintained at 3 and 9 months post-treatment. No statistically significant group differences on lower body pain and psychological distress were found.

Conclusions. Home-based exercise, a relatively low-cost treatment modality, has the potential to improve important health outcomes in FM.

PMID: 16030079 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

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