Objective: To conduct a systematic review of evidence surrounding the effects of exercise training on physical fitness, mobility, fatigue, and health-related quality of life in adults with multiple sclerosis (MS).
Data sources: The databases included EMBASE, 1980 to 2011 (wk 12); Ovid MEDLINE and Ovid OLDMEDLINE, 1947 to March (wk 3) 2011; PsycINFO, 1967 to March (wk 4) 2011; CINAHL all-inclusive; SPORTDiscus all-inclusive; Cochrane Library all-inclusive; and Physiotherapy Evidence Database all-inclusive.
Study selection: The review was limited to English-language studies (published before December 2011) of people with MS that evaluated the effects of exercise training on outcomes of physical fitness, mobility, fatigue, and/or health-related quality of life.
Data extraction: One research assistant extracted data and rated study quality. A second research assistant verified the extraction and quality assessment.
Data synthesis: From the 4362 studies identified, 54 studies were included in the review. The extracted data were analyzed using a descriptive approach. There was strong evidence that exercise performed 2 times per week at a moderate intensity increases aerobic capacity and muscular strength. The evidence was not consistent regarding the effects of exercise training on other outcomes.
Conclusions: Among those with mild to moderate disability from MS, there is sufficient evidence that exercise training is effective for improving both aerobic capacity and muscular strength. Exercise may improve mobility, fatigue, and health-related quality of life.
Keywords: EDSS; Exercise; Expanded Disability Status Scale; FES; Guideline; HRQOL; MS; Multiple sclerosis; PEDro; Physical fitness; Physiotherapy Evidence Database; RCT; RM; Rehabilitation; functional electrical stimulation; health-related quality of life; maximal oxygen consumption; multiple sclerosis; o(2)max; randomized controlled trial; repetition maximum.
Copyright © 2013 American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.