Patients' perceptions of exercise therapy in the treatment of fibromyalgia syndrome: A survey

JG McVeigh, A Millar, DA Hurley, JR Basford, GD Baxter

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

    15 Citations (Scopus)
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationUnknown Host Publication
    PublisherWorld Confederation for Physical Therapy
    Number of pages1
    Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 2003
    EventInternational Congress of the World Confederation of Physical Therapists - Barcelona
    Duration: 1 Jan 2003 → …


    ConferenceInternational Congress of the World Confederation of Physical Therapists
    Period1/01/03 → …

    Bibliographical note

    Reference text: Objective: To identify patients' perceptions of the role and benefits of exercise in the
    treatment of fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS).
    Design: A postal questionnaire was sent to all 225 members of the Northern Ireland
    Fibromyalgia Support Group. The questionnaire consisted of 19 questions and was subdivided
    into four sections: (1) background information; (2) previous treatment; (3)
    opinions on the role of exercise in FMS and (4) current participation in, and barriers to,
    exercise. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics.
    Results: A response rate of 51.1% (115/225) was achieved. Forty nine percent (57) of
    respondents were receiving FMS-associated disability benefits and 13% (15) were working
    full-time. All reported previous treatment for FMS. Ninety-six (84%) had received
    medication and 82 (71%) exercise-based therapy. Just over half (42/82) of those who had
    participated in exercise therapy reported it to be an effective management strategy. Two thirds
    (48/71) of those who used bedrest, and over half (52/96) of those who used medications
    reported these interventions to be effective. Eighty-two per cent (94) ‘agreed’ or ‘strongly
    agreed’ that exercise improved fitness and 60% (69) ‘agreed’ or ‘strongly agreed’ that exercise
    increased feelings of well-being, but only 13.9% (16) reported that it reduced their pain. The
    most commonly reported barriers to exercise were fatigue (85%, 98) and pain (73%, 84).
    Conclusion: Exercise therapy is a common treatment for fibromyalgia syndrome, but while
    respondents accepted its general health benefits, the vast majority did not report that it
    reduced their pain.


    • Fibromyalgia
    • perceptions
    • rheumatology
    • women’s health
    • exercise
    • therapy
    • physiotherapy.

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