Background Because of the fact that systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) causes joint and muscle pain, fatigue, depression, the very thought of exercising can be a challenge for patients. Although exercise can be beneficial and can significantly improve the quality of life.
Objectives The aim of the study is to determine the form of physical activity in SLE patients that could improve their quality of life. Although exercise can be beneficial and can significantly improve the quality of life.
Methods This prospective study included 60 patients diagnosed with SLE in stable condition. A randomly selected group of 30 women had aerobic training on a bicycle ergometer for a period of 15 minutes, 3 times per week for 6 weeks, while the second group of 30 women did exercise for 30 minutes, 3 times per week during the same period. FSS (fatigue Severity Scale), Short Form 36 (SF36) questionnaire on the quality of life and Beck depression inventory (BDI) were analyzed at baseline and after 6 weeks.
Results Fatigue was present in all patients (FSS score 53.8 ± 5.7; min 39, max 63) before starting the exercise. Fatigue was present in 11 patients (18.3%) after the physical activity while 49 (81.7%) patients did not experience it (FSS score 29.1 ± 7.8; min 18, max 45). Before starting the exercise the largest number of patients, 40 (66.67%) of them, was in a moderate depressed state, while after physical activities the greatest number of patients, 37 (61.66%), had a mild mood disturbance. There are high statistical differences (p<0.001) in values of all areas of quality of life questionnaire SF36 before and after the implementation of physical activity. Comparing the different types of physical activities there were not any statistically significant differences (p>0.05) in values of FSS and BDI questionnaire. A statistically significant difference was observed in terms of reducing the parameters of pain, general health and mental health in a group that had a physical activity on a bicycle ergometer evaluated by the SF36 questionnaire (p<0.05).
Conclusions Our study has shown that a continuous physical activity in SLE patients significantly improves their quality of life by reducing fatigue and depressive reactions without negative impacts on the activity of their disease. The type of physical activity was not relevant.
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Acknowledgement This work was supported by research grant number 175041 for 2011 - 2016, issued by the Ministry of Science of the Republic of Serbia, and by research grant number TR 32040 for 2011 - 2016, issued by the Ministry of Science of the Republic of Serbia.
Disclosure of Interest None declared