Fatigue in systemic lupus erythematosus: a randomized controlled trial of exercise
AbstractAbstract Objective . To test the efficacy of a graded aerobic exercise programme in treating fatigue in systemic lupus erythematosus. Methods . Ninety‐three patients with systemic lupus erythematosus without active disease in any major organ were randomized, using a minimization protocol, to 12 weeks of graded exercise therapy, relaxation therapy or no intervention. Results . Analysis by intention to treat showed that 16 of the 33 (49%) patients in the exercise group rated themselves as ‘much’ or ‘very much’ better compared with eight out of 29 (28%) in the relaxation group and five out of 32 (16%) in the control group (χ 2 =8.3, df=2, P =0.02). Fatigue improved significantly on one out of three measures after exercise therapy and there was a trend for fatigue to improve on all measures after exercise. Conclusion . These findings support the use of appropriately prescribed graded aerobic exercise in the management of patients with fatigue and systemic lupus erythematosus.