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The relationship between exercise participation and depressed mood in women with fibromyalgia

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Fibromyalgia (FM) is a chronic, widespread musculoskeletal pain disorder, with unknown organic etiology and no known pharmacologic treatment shown to be consistently effective. The present study examined the relationship between regular weekly exercise participation and depressed mood among women with FM. Seventy women with a diagnosis of FM were evaluated at baseline and at the three-year follow-up. At each assessment participants were interviewed, underwent a medical examination, and completed questionnaires assessing depressed mood, health status and daily functioning. Thirteen per cent of the women at baseline and 18% at follow-up reported doing no leisure physical activity. Depressed mood was significantly lower at follow-up compared to baseline. Engaging in more weekly leisure physical activity was associated with better functional ability at both assessments. A hierarchical multiple regression analysis revealed that after controlling for baseline depression, higher depressed mood scores at the three-year follow-up was associated with younger age, lower household income, less improvement in daily functioning and less participation in weekly leisure physical activity. These results support the claims that exercise can improve mental as well as physical health, underlining the importance of its integration into the comprehensive treatment of fibromyalgia.
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Document Type: Original Article

Publication date: August 1, 2001

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