Effect of a randomized, controlled trial of exercise on mood and physical function in individuals with fibromyalgia

Arthritis Rheum. 2001 Dec;45(6):519-29. doi: 10.1002/1529-0131(200112)45:6<519::aid-art377>3.0.co;2-3.


Objective: To evaluate the effect of exercise on mood and physical function in individuals with fibromyalgia.

Methods: Subjects were randomly assigned to an exercise (EX) or control (CTL) group. EX subjects participated in 3 30-minute exercise classes per week for 23 weeks. Subjects were tested at entry and at 6, 12, and 23 weeks. Tests included the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), 6-minute walk, State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI), Mental Health Inventory (MHI), Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ), Arthritis Self-Efficacy Scale (ASES), and a measure of tender points and knee strength.

Results: Fifty subjects (27 EX, 23 CTL) completed the study, and 31 (15 EX, 16 CTL) met criteria for efficacy analyses. In efficacy analyses, significant improvements were seen for EX subjects in 6-minute walk distances, BDI (total, cognitive/ affective), STAI, FIQ, ASES, and MHI (3 of 5 subscales) scores. These effects were reduced but remained during intent-to-treat analyses.

Conclusion: Exercise can improve the mood and physical function of individuals with fibromyalgia.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Affect*
  • Exercise Therapy*
  • Female
  • Fibromyalgia / psychology*
  • Fibromyalgia / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Treatment Outcome