The influence of a physical exercise program on quality of life and fatigue in multiple sclerosis

Caroline Charlier, Elke Van Hoof, Tom Broekmans, Geert Alders, Machteld Roelandts, Raf Meesen, Bert Op't Eijnde, Peter Feys

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    Objectives
    This study examines whether quality of life and fatigue in MS is influenced by a 20-week strength exercise program compared to a control condition at home. Secondly, the effectiveness on social support was examined.
    Design
    A randomised-controlled study design with assessments at baseline, after 10 and after 20 weeks.
    Setting
    Assessment as well as the strength training program took place at the REVAL research centre.
    Participants
    From 59 patients at an information session, 45 MS patients were included (EDSS = 4,4±1,1; 80% showed relapsing-remitting type of MS) and were randomized into a training (n= 28) and home group (n=17).
    Intervention
    The training group performed a 20-week strength-training program consisting of resistance training or whole body vibration, five times per 2 week cycle. No exercises were given to the home group.
    Main Outcome Measures
    Quality of Life was examined using the SF-36 and MSIS-29 while fatigue and social support were measured using the CIS-20 and SSQT respectively.
    Results
    The subscale global health perception of the SF-36 improved significantly in both groups (p=0.46). A significant interaction between intervention and time was found (p=.029) for the experienced fatigue, indicating a decrease after the first ten weeks of training in the experimental group. Only trends for interaction where found when considering social support.
    Conclusion
    This study showed that a 20 week strength training program reduces self-perceived fatigue. General Health Perceptions (SF-36) improved for the whole group indicating no specific effect of the intervention, but rather an effect of participation to a scientific study. Most changes were found after the first ten weeks of training suggesting that longer duration of intervention programs are not needed.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)60
    Number of pages1
    JournalInternational Journal on MS Care
    Volume10
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 11 Oct 2008

    Keywords

    • multiple sclerosis
    • quality of life
    • fatigue
    • social support

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