Fatigue and quality of life of women with multiple sclerosis: a randomized controlled clinical trial

J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2015 Jun;55(6):668-74. Epub 2014 Oct 10.


Aim: The aim of this study was to determine the effects of aquatic exercise on fatigue and the quality of life in women with multiple sclerosis (MS).

Methods: This randomized controlled clinical trial was carried out in a multiple sclerosis clinic in Iran, where 37 outpatient women with MS were randomized into an exercise group (N.=18) and a control group (N.=19). In the exercise group, aquatic exercise was performed for 45 minutes, 3 times per week for 8 weeks. The control group did not receive any interventions (aquatic exercise) and were asked to maintain their normal treatments. The severity and perception of fatigue and quality of life (QoL) were measured using the Fatigue Severity Scale (FSS), Modified Fatigue Impact Scale (MFIS), and Multicultural Quality of Life Index (MQLIM) questionnaires.

Results: The repeated measure ANOVA demonstrated significant effects of aquatic exercise on the changes in the scores of physical and psychosocial fatigue perception, QoL, and fatigue severity (P=0.001). However, its effect was not significant for cognitive fatigue perception (P>0.05). General linear models show that the percentages of variation, as explained by the aquatic exercises, were highest in the QoL and the physical and psychosocial fatigue perceptions.

Conclusion: Aquatic exercise can improve the QoL and decrease fatigue severity and fatigue perception, specifically in the physical and psychosocial domain for MS patients. However, it was not effective in improving cognitive fatigue perception.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Exercise Therapy*
  • Fatigue / psychology
  • Fatigue / therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Multiple Sclerosis / physiopathology*
  • Multiple Sclerosis / psychology
  • Quality of Life*