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Wednesday, July 26, 2017
A randomized controlled trial to examine the impact of aquatic exercise training on functional capacity, balance, and perceptions of fatigue in female patients with multiple sclerosis.
OBJECTIVE: To assess the effects of 8-weeks aquatic exercise training program on functional capacity, balance, and perceptions of fatigue in women with multiple sclerosis (MS).
DESIGN: A randomized controlled design.
SETTING: Referral center of a multiple sclerosis society.
PARTICIPANTS: Women (age: 36.4 ±8.2) diagnosed with relapsing-remitting (RR-type) MS. After undergoing baseline testing by a neurologist, participants were allocated to either an intervention (aquatic training program) or a control group.
INTERVENTIONS: The intervention consisted of an 8-week aquatic training program (3 supervised training sessions per week; session duration; 45-60 min; 50-75% estimated maximum heart rate).
MAIN MEASURES: Six-minute walk test (6-MWT); balance (Berg Balance Scale; BBS), and perceptions of fatigue (Modified Fatigue Impact Scale; MFIS), at baseline and after an 8 week intervention. Differences over time between the experimental and control groups were assessed by a 2x2 (group by time) repeated measures analysis of variance (ANOVA).
RESULTS: 32 women completed the 8-week aquatic training intervention (experimental group, n=17; controls, n = 15). All outcome measures improved in the experimental group; 6-MWT performance (451±58 m to 503±57 m; P<0.001); BBS (pre-test mean, 53.59±1.70; post-test mean, 55.18±1.18; P<0.001), and in the MFIS (pre-test mean, 43.1±14.6, post-test mean, 32.8 ±5.9;P<0.01). A significant group-by-time interaction was evident between the experimental and controls groups for 6-MWT:P<0.001, ηp(2)=0.551; BBS:P<0.001, ηp(2)=0.423; and MFIS: P<0.001, ηp(2)=0.679.
CONCLUSIONS: Aquatic exercise training improved functional capacity, balance, and perceptions of fatigue in women with MS.