Effects of aquatic physiotherapy or health education program in women with fibromyalgia: a randomized clinical trial

Angélica Cristina Sousa Fonseca, Priscila Conceição Faria, Marcus Alessandro De Alcântara, Wálisson Dias Pinto, Letícia Gontijo De Carvalho, Filipe Gustavo Lopes, Andrei Pereira Pernambuco
Physiotherapy Theory and Practice 2019 July 15, : 1-13
Background:  Different treatments have been proposed for Fibromyalgia, but only few studies have compared their effects on multiples outcomes over time.  Objective:  The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of aquatic physiotherapy (AP) or a health education program (HEP) in a sample of women with Fibromyalgia (FM).  Methods:  Forty-six women with FM, aged between 25 and 60 years old, whose BMI was less than 30, were assigned to either AP (27 women) or HEP (19 women) groups in a blind randomized clinical trial lasting eleven weeks. Pain (McGill Pain questionnaire), fatigue (Piper Fatigue Scale-Revised), functional capability (Fibromyalgia Impact questionnaire), anxiety (Beck Anxiety Inventory), depression (Beck Depression Inventory) and quality of sleep (Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index) data were collected at baseline, after six weeks and post intervention. Two-factor mixed-model analysis of variance (ANOVAs) were used to examine the effects of the treatment on each outcome variable.  Results:  The AP and HEP interventions showed statistically significant within-group differences on all outcome measures except reducing the pain. Between-group differences was statistically significant only for impact of FM on the participant's life [ F (1.82,80.41)  = 31,99; p ≤ 0.01] indicating that patients receiving HEP experienced a greater decrease in FIQ than those treated with AP.  Conclusion:  The findings do not allow to affirm that one intervention is superior to the other for the treatment of people with FM. Future studies should investigate whether the combination of HEP and PA can be effective and long-lasting.


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