Effectiveness of fatigue management interventions in reducing severity and impact of fatigue in people with progressive multiple sclerosis: a systematic review

Scott Rooney*, Fiona Moffat, Les Wood, Lorna Paul

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Background: Rehabilitation interventions are recommended to manage multiple sclerosis (MS)-related fatigue. However, existing research has largely been generalized to those with relapsing-remitting MS, making it difficult to determine the effectiveness of these interventions in people with progressive MS. Therefore, this study aimed to systematically review the evidence related to the effectiveness of fatigue management interventions in reducing the severity and impact of fatigue in people with progressive MS. Methods: Six electronic databases (CINAHL, Cochrane Library, MEDLINE, PEDro, ProQuest, and Web of Science Core Collections) were searched for relevant articles up until November 2017. Randomized controlled trials and quasi-experimental studies that examined the effects of exercise, behavioral interventions, and rehabilitation on fatigue in people with progressive MS using self-reported fatigue outcome measures were included in this review. Results: Eight exercise, two rehabilitation, and two behavioral interventions were investigated in the 13 articles included in this review. Heterogeneous effects were reported between studies, with only two exercise, one behavioral, and two rehabilitation interventions recording significant improvements in postintervention fatigue severity or impact. However, most studies were underpowered, only two used fatigue as the primary outcome, and only one specifically recruited participants with predefined levels of fatigue. Conclusions: Evidence from this review is inconclusive regarding the effectiveness of nonpharmacologic interventions in reducing the severity and impact of fatigue in progressive MS populations. Adequately powered randomized controlled trials are required to evaluate fatigue management interventions in people with progressive MS experiencing high levels of fatigue and using fatigue as the primary outcome.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-46
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of MS Care
Volume21
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019

Keywords

  • multiple sclerosis
  • fatigue management
  • systematic review

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