Effects of a Telerehabilitation Program in Women with Fibromyalgia at 6-Month Follow-Up: Secondary Analysis... 2022 Hernando-Garijo et al

Discussion in ''Conditions related to ME/CFS' news and research' started by Andy, Dec 24, 2022.

  1. Andy

    Andy Committee Member

    Hampshire, UK

    (1) Background: Telerehabilitation allows health professionals to monitor patients without face-to-face contact. The objective was to analyze the effects of a telerehabilitation program based on aerobic exercise in women with fibromyalgia at 6-month follow-up.

    (2) Methods: Participants were randomized into the telerehabilitation group (n = 17) or the control group (n = 17). The telerehabilitation group performed 30 sessions of exercise for 15 weeks. The exercises were guided by video and adjusted by videocalls. Pain intensity, fibromyalgia impact, physical function, isometric strength and quality of life were measured at baseline and at 6 months after the end of the intervention.

    (3) Results: There were no between-group differences in pain intensity, fibromyalgia impact, physical function, isometric strength or quality of life at 6-month follow-up (p > 0.05).

    (4) Conclusion: A telerehabilitation exercise program based on aerobic exercises may not be an effective treatment for women with fibromyalgia at 6 months of follow-up due to the lack of between-group differences in any variable.

    Open access, https://www.mdpi.com/2227-9059/10/12/3024
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  2. Hutan

    Hutan Moderator Staff Member

    Aotearoa New Zealand
    Seems like an important result from this fairly small Spanish study. There were some improvements in measured strength in the exercise group and none in the control group, suggesting that there was compliance with the exercise and control protocols.

    Assessors were blinded, the participants obviously were not. The control arm was essentially a wait-list control, so positive differences for the treatment arm on subjective outcomes can't be relied on.

    For pain and fibromyalgia impact on life, both groups had lower mean scores after 6 months, but there was no significant difference between group effect size. So, it looks like some 'regression to the mean' effect over time.

    For people who experience PEM and have fibromyalgia as well, maybe this study will make them feel better about the level of exercise that they can do. It certainly doesn't look as though aerobic exercise is a magic bullet, even exercise done for 15 weeks.

    Worth having more of a look at sometime - they refer to other studies, some of which did find benefits but these authors criticise those studies as having a low rate of attendance and less severely affected participants. They suggest that the relatively small sample size may have prevented there being a significant significant result between groups.

    I'm actually surprised the researchers didn't try to spin this harder - there were some within-group improvements, and they could have done assessments immediately after the conclusion of the 15 week exercise intervention. They suggest that successful exercise interventions might have to be longer and face to face...
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2022
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  3. Trish

    Trish Moderator Staff Member

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