Introduction: Fibromyalgia affects 8% of the population over the age of 40 years, and 75% of the patients with fibromyalgia have poor sleep quality.
Objective: To assess the effects of hydrotherapy on the physical function and sleep quality of patients with fibromyalgia.
Methods: Patients were under clinical care at the UNASP Outpatient Clinic. This study assessed 60 female patients with fibromyalgia aged between 30 and 65 years. Out of the 60 patients assessed, 20 were excluded and 10 left the study because they could not comply with the time schedule. All patients completed the following questionnaires: Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ); Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, and Epworth Sleepiness Scale. Training sessions were performed twice a week for two months, each session lasting 60 minutes.
Results: Patients' mean age was 45 years, 66% were active workers, and 34% had quit work. Right after the hydrotherapy program, the patients improved the following aspects assessed by use of the FIQ: physical function, work absenteeism, ability to do job, pain intensity, fatigue, morning tiredness, stiffness (P < 0.0001), anxiety (P = 0,0013), and depression (P < 0.0001). Sleep quality (P < 0.0001) and daytime sleepiness (P = 0.0003) also improved.
Conclusion: Hydrotherapy improves sleep quality, physical function, professional status, psychological disorders and physical symptoms in patients with fibromyalgia.