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The effects of a group exercise and education programme on symptoms and physical fitness in patients with fibromyalgia: A prospective observational cohort study.

Loftus, Nadia and Dobbin, Nicholas and Crampton, Jenny (2021) The effects of a group exercise and education programme on symptoms and physical fitness in patients with fibromyalgia: A prospective observational cohort study. Disability and Rehabilitation. ISSN 0963-8288 (In Press)

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Abstract

Purpose: Given the limited attention on a combined exercise and education approach for those with chronic musculoskeletal pain disorder such as fibromyalgia, the purpose of this was to evaluate the efficacy of a combined exercise and education programme on physical fitness and symptoms in participants with fibromyalgia. Materials and Methods: Using a prospective observational cohort study, participants with fibromyalgia (n = 75) volunteered. The 6-minute-walk-test (6MWT) and revised-fibromyalgia-impact-questionnaire (FIQR) were used before, after (6 weeks) and 6-months post an exercise and education programme. Results: Forty-three participants (age = 49.7 ± 15.2 y) completed the 6-week programme, with improvements observed for the 6MWT (67 m, P < 0.001) and FIQR (11 AU, P < 0.001), though only two (6MWT) and five (FIQR) participants achieved the minimal clinically important difference (MCID). Using 74% of the intial sample, a small-to-moderate improvement in scores were observed across the 6-month period for the 6MWT (37 m, P = 0.002) and FIQR (3 AU, P = 0.01), with only two participants achieving the MCID for the 6MWT. Conclusions: The results in this study indiciate small-to-moderate improvements in the 6MWT and FIQR after a combined exercise and education programme, with direct delivery being more effective.

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