Objective: To evaluate the effects of 6 months of pool exercise combined with a 6 session education program for patients with fibromyalgia syndrome (FM).
Methods: The study population comprised 58 patients, randomized to a treatment or a control group. Patients were instructed to match the pool exercises to their threshold of pain and fatigue. The education focused on strategies for coping with symptoms and encouragement of physical activity. The primary outcome measurements were the total score of the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ) and the 6 min walk test, recorded at study start and after 6 mo. Several other tests and instruments assessing functional limitations, severity of symptoms, disabilities, and quality of life were also applied.
Results: Significant differences between the treatment group and the control group were found for the FIQ total score (p = 0.017) and the 6 min walk test (p < 0.0001). Significant differences were also found for physical function, grip strength, pain severity, social functioning, psychological distress, and quality of life.
Conclusion: The results suggest that a 6 month program of exercises in a temperate pool combined with education will improve the consequences of FM.