Effect of Exercises Training on Fatigue, Depression and Physical Activity in Patients with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus


Effect of Exercises Training on Fatigue, Depression and Physical Activity in Patients with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

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Background: Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disease associated with widespread inflammation and tissue damage. It is more common and severe among Blacks, Hispanics, and Asians; with higher incidence in women. While the goals of medical treatment are to prevent flares and reduce organ damage, up to 50% of patients perceive their health to be suboptimal with unaddressed needs including fatigue and pain. Recent SLE treatment guidelines focus on improving quality of life. Fatigue in SLE is associated with lower fitness levels, reduced exercise capacity, reduced muscle strength, and greater disability when compared to sedentary healthy subjects.

Aim: To compare the effect of aerobic exercise versus stretching and strengthening exercise on fatigue and physical activity in patients with SLE.

Subject and method: 40 female patients with SLE from department of internal medicine, Cairo university hospitals were included in this study divided into 2 groups. Group 1 treated by aerobic exercises and group 2 treated by stretching and strengthening exercises. Self-rating Depression Scale (SDS), Sf- 36, Fatigue Severity Scale (FSS). 6 Minutes’ Walk Test (6MWT), 2 minutes (Min) step test, functional performance battery consists of 30 sonds chair stand test and 30 s arm curl test. All parameters measured pre-treatment and after 3 months of treatment.

Results: analysis of results showed significant difference in both groups post treatment than pre-treatment p<0.001. Comparing the results of both groups showed that no significant difference in 30 s chair up and 30 s arm curl p>0.05, there is significant difference in SDS, SF-36, FSS p<0.05, and highly significant difference in 6 MWT and 2 Min step test p<0.001.

Conclusion: Both aerobic exercises, stretching and strengthening are effective non-pharmacological method to increase physical activity and decrease severity of fatigue and depression.

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