Effect of Exercise Interventions on Health-Related Quality of Life in Patients with Fibromyalgia Syndrome: A Systematic Review and Network Meta-Analysis

Author: Kang-Da Zhang1, Lin-Yu Wang1, Zhi-Hua Zhang1, Dan-Xu Zhang1, Xiao-Wen Lin2, Tao Meng1, Feng Qi1
1 Department of Anesthesiology, Qilu Hospital of Shandong University, Jinan, People's Republic of China.
2 Department of Pain Management, Shandong Provincial Hospital Affiliated to Shandong First Medical University, Jinan, People's Republic of China.
Conference/Journal: J Pain Res
Date published: 2022 Nov 22
Other: Volume ID: 15 , Pages: 3639-3656 , Special Notes: doi: 10.2147/JPR.S384215. , Word Count: 310

Several guidelines highlight the beneficial impact of exercise on the management of symptoms and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in patients with fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS). However, few analyses have compared different types of exercise. We, therefore, intent to compare the effects of different exercise types on improving the overall HRQOL and typical symptoms in patients with FMS.

Medline, Embase, the Cochrane Register of Clinical Trials, and NIH ClinicalTrials.gov were searched from inception to April 21, 2022. Randomized clinical trials (RCTs) were included to assess the impact of exercise intervention on health parameters in adult FMS patients. Data were extracted independently and a frequentist network meta-analyses (NMA) was performed to rank the effects of interventions according to P-scores. The NMA evidence certainty was assessed using the method recommended by Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation Working Group.

A total of 57 RCTs were identified, including 3319 participants, involving 9 interventions (7 types of exercise, 2 controls). Of all treatments compared with usual care in efficacy outcomes, Mind-body exercise was associated with the best HRQOL (SMD, -12.12; 95% CI, -15.79 to -8.45). On the other characteristic symptom dimensions, based on moderate quality evidence, sensorimotor training was associated with minimal pain scores compared with usual care (SMD, -1.81; 95% CI, -2.81 to -0.82), whole body vibration therapy was most promising for improving sleep quality (SMD, -6.95; 95% CI, -10.03 to -3.87), pool-based aerobic exercise was most likely to ease anxiety (SMD, -4.83; 95% CI, -7.47 to -2.19), and whole body vibration was most likely to improve depression (SMD, -10.44; 95% CI, -22.00 to 1.12).

Mind-body exercise seems to be the most effective exercise to improve the overall HRQOL of patients with FMS. But at the same time, clinicians still need to develop individualized exercise plans for patients according to their symptoms and accessibility.

Keywords: exercise; fibromyalgia syndrome; network meta-analysis; quality of life; systematic review.

PMID: 36444171 PMCID: PMC9700437 DOI: 10.2147/JPR.S384215