Effect of exercise training on quality of life in multiple sclerosis: A meta-analysis

Robert W. Motl, J. L. Gosney

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Using meta-analytic procedures, this study examined the overall effect of exercise training interventions on quality of life (QOL) among individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS). We searched MEDLINE, PSYCHINFO and CURRENT CONTENTS PLUS for the period of 1960 to November 2006 using the key words exercise, physical activity and physical fitness in conjunction with QOL and MS. We further conducted a manual search of bibliographies of the retrieved papers as well as literature reviews and contacted study authors about additional studies. Twenty-five journal articles were located and reviewed, and only 13 provided enough data to compute effect sizes expressed as Cohen's d. One hundred and nine effect sizes were retrieved from the 13 studies with 484 MS participants and yielded a weighted mean effect size of g = 0.23 (95% Cl = 0.15, 0.31). There were larger effects associated with MS-specific measures of QOL and fatigue as an index of QOL. The nature of the exercise stimulus further influenced the magnitude of the mean effect size. The cumulative evidence supports that exercise training is associated with a small improvement in QOL among individuals with MS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)129-135
Number of pages7
JournalMultiple Sclerosis
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2008


  • Exercise training
  • Fatigue
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Physical activity
  • Quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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