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Sport Sciences for Health

, Volume 13, Issue 3, pp 607–613 | Cite as

Long-term endurance training improves general health perception in multiple sclerosis patients with fatigue: results of an exploratory study

  • Marc Wonneberger
  • Stephan SchmidtEmail author
Original Article
  • 184 Downloads

Abstract

Purpose

To determine if long-term endurance exercise improves quality of life (QOL) in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS).

Methods

89 patients with relapsing–remitting MS and an EDSS of <3.5 participated in a prospective non-randomized controlled exploratory trial. The exercise program comprised a walking exercise three times weekly for 30 min (“interval training” twice weekly, “endurance training” once weekly) for 12 months. Participants were tested every 3 months on a treadmill according to a modified Naughton protocol. Fatigue was assessed by the Fatigue Severity Scale (FSS) and QOL by a German version of the Short Form Health Survey (SF-36). Data were analyzed using analysis of variance (ANOVA) with repeated measurements.

Results

20 patients without and 24 with fatigue completed the program. QOL was reduced in several subscales of the SF-36 in MS patients with fatigue at baseline: physical functioning (p < 0.001), physical role functioning (p < 0.002), bodily pain (p ≤ 0.04), vitality (p ≤ 0.001), social role functioning (p ≤ 0.004), emotional role functioning (p ≤ 0.03), mental health (p ≤ 0.006). Exercise training resulted in a significant improvement of the subscale general health perceptions (p ≤ 0.01).

Conclusions

Fatigue contributes significantly to QOL in MS patients. A significant improvement in the subscale general health perceptions was demonstrated by a 12-month endurance walking program in MS patients with fatigue.

Keywords

Multiple sclerosis Fatigue Quality of life Endurance exercise 

Abbreviations

QOL

Quality of life

MS

Multiple sclerosis

ACSM

American College of Sports Medicine

RR-MS

Relapsing–remitting MS

EDSS

Expanded Disability Status Scale

VO2

Peak oxygen consumption

FSS

Fatigue Severity Scale

SF-36 Health Survey

Short Form Health Survey

PF

Physical functioning

RP

Physical role functioning

BP

Bodily pain

GH

General health perceptions

VT

Vitality

SF

Social role functioning

RE

Emotional role functioning

MH

Mental health

ANOVA

Analysis of variance

Notes

Compliance with ethical standards

Funding

This study was funded by Bayer Vital (Grant Number PB05).

Conflict of interest

Both authors have received speaker honoraria from Bayer Vital.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia S.r.l. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Schule für Physiotherapie Gummersbach, DAA Gesundheit und SozialesGummersbachGermany
  2. 2.Neurologische Gemeinschaftspraxis Bonn, Gesundheitszentrum St. JohannesBonnGermany
  3. 3.Department of Neurology, Knappschafts-Krankenhaus LangendreerRuhr-University of BochumBochumGermany

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