Benefits of Exergame Training for Female Patients With Fibromyalgia: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials

Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2022 Jan 14;S0003-9993(21)01572-0. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2021.10.022. Online ahead of print.

Abstract

Objective: The objective of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to evaluate the effects of exergame training on female patients with fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS). Outcome measurements mainly include overall functioning, pain perception, quality of life, exercise capacity, health perception, kinesiophobia, and fatigue severity.

Data sources: Five electronic databases (PubMed, Web of Science, PsycInfo, Scopus, and Cochrane Library) were searched from inception until June 24, 2021. In addition to searches, review the reference lists of relevant papers by hand was also conducted. Cochrane Collaboration's tool for assessing risk of bias was used to evaluate the risk of bias in the included studies.

Study selection: Articles were collected with the following study inclusion criteria: (1) randomized controlled trial (RCT) design; (2) participants were female patients with FMS aged older than 18 years; (3) participants in experimental groups received exergame training using any modality; and (4) outcome measures included overall functioning, quality of life, exercise capacity, health perception, kinesiophobia, and fatigue severity.

Data extraction: The data were independently extracted by 2 researchers. The extracted data related to the document characteristics (first author, publication year, and country) participant characteristics (number and age of participants in the experimental and control groups), and interventions (intervention content, frequency, and duration, and measurement tools).

Data synthesis: Nine RCTs including 466 female patients with FMS were included in the analysis. Exergame training had significant positive effects on overall functioning (standardized mean difference [SMD], -0.52; 95% confidence interval [CI], -0.77 to 0.27; P<.0001), pain perception (SMD, -0.49; 95% CI, -0.97 to -0.02; P=.04), quality of life (SMD, 0.77; 95% CI, 0.44-1.10; P<.00001), exercise capacity (SMD, 0.58; 95% CI, 0.32-0.84; P<.0001), health perception (SMD, 0.69; 95% CI, 0.38-1.01; P<.0001), and fatigue severity (SMD, -0.97; 95% CI, -1.55 to -0.38; P=.001). However, exergame training did not have significant effects on kinesiophobia (SMD, -1.13; 95% CI, -2.88 to 0.62; P=.21).

Conclusions: Exergame training has beneficial effects on the overall functioning, pain perception, quality of life, exercise capacity, health perception and fatigue severity of female patients with FMS. Exergame training is a potential non-drug therapy for the treatment of patients with FMS.

Keywords: Exergaming; Fibromyalgia; Meta-analysis; Rehabilitation.

Publication types

  • Review