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STUDY: Long-term endurance training improves health perception in MSers with fatigue

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  • STUDY: Long-term endurance training improves health perception in MSers with fatigue

    Sport Sciences for Health
    pp 1–7

    Long-term endurance training improves general health perception in multiple sclerosis patients with fatigue: results of an exploratory study

    Marc Wonneberger, Stephan SchmidtEmail
    First Online: 23 August 2017



    To determine if long-term endurance exercise improves quality of life (QOL) in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS).


    89 patients with relapsing–remitting MS and an EDSS of <3.5 participated in a prospective non-randomized controlled exploratory trial. The exercise program comprised a walking exercise three times weekly for 30 min (“interval training” twice weekly, “endurance training” once weekly) for 12 months. Participants were tested every 3 months on a treadmill according to a modified Naughton protocol. Fatigue was assessed by the Fatigue Severity Scale (FSS) and QOL by a German version of the Short Form Health Survey (SF-36). Data were analyzed using analysis of variance (ANOVA) with repeated measurements.


    20 patients without and 24 with fatigue completed the program. QOL was reduced in several subscales of the SF-36 in MS patients with fatigue at baseline: physical functioning (p < 0.001), physical role functioning (p < 0.002), bodily pain (p ≤ 0.04), vitality (p ≤ 0.001), social role functioning (p ≤ 0.004), emotional role functioning (p ≤ 0.03), mental health (p ≤ 0.006). Exercise training resulted in a significant improvement of the subscale general health perceptions (p ≤ 0.01).


    Fatigue contributes significantly to QOL in MS patients. A significant improvement in the subscale general health perceptions was demonstrated by a 12-month endurance walking program in MS patients with fatigue.

    Dave Bexfield