Six-month and one-year followup of 23 weeks of aerobic exercise for individuals with fibromyalgia




To measure mood and physical function of individuals with fibromyalgia, 6 and 12 months following 23 weeks of supervised aerobic exercise.


This is a followup report of individuals who were previously enrolled in 23 weeks of land-based and water-based aerobic exercise classes. Outcomes included the 6-minute walk test, Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, Arthritis Self-Efficacy Scale (ASES), Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ), tender point count, patient global assessment score, and exercise compliance. Outcomes were measured at the start and end of the exercise classes and 6 and 12 months later.


Analyses were conducted on 29 (intent-to-treat) or 18 (efficacy) subjects. Six-minute walk distances and BDI total scores were improved at followup (all analyses). BDI cognitive/affective scores were improved at the end of 23 weeks of exercise (both analyses) and at the 12-month followup (efficacy analysis only). BDI somatic scores were improved at 6-month (both analyses) and 12-month followup (intent-to-treat only). FIQ and ASES function were improved at all followup points. ASES pain was improved in efficacy analyses only (all followup points). Tender points were unchanged after 23 weeks of exercise and at followup. Exercise duration at followup (total minutes of aerobic plus anaerobic exercise in the preceding week) was related to gains in physical function (6- and 12-month followup) and mood (6-month followup).


Exercise can improve physical function, mood, symptom severity, and aspects of self efficacy for at least 12 months. Exercising at followup was related to improvements in physical function and perhaps mood.