Prescribed exercise in people with fibromyalgia: Parallel group randomised controlled trial

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Richards, Selwyn C. M., and David L. Scott. Prescribed exercise in people with fibromyalgia: Parallel group randomised controlled trial. British Medical Journal, 27 Jul 2002, 325:185.

Full-length article: http://bmj.com/cgi/content/full/325/7357/185

Summary: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the benefit of cardiovascular fitness exercise in people with fibromyalgia. In this randomized controlled trial 132 hospital rheumatology outpatients with fibromyalgia took group classes at a "healthy living centre." The active treatment group was prescribed graded aerobic exercise and the control group was trained in relaxation and flexibility. Based on the outcome measures of participants' self-assessment of improvement, tender point count, impact of condition measured by fibromyalgia impact questionnaire, and short form McGill pain questionnaire, exercise led to significantly more participants rating themselves as much or very much better at three months than relaxation and flexibility: 24/69 (35%) versus 12/67 (18%), P=0.03. These benefits were maintained or improved at one-year follow-up. People in the exercise group also had greater reductions in tender point counts (4.2 versus 2.0, P=0.02) and in scores on the fibromyalgia impact questionnaire (4.0 versus 0.6, P=0.07).

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