Effects of exercise training on fatigue in multiple sclerosis: A meta-analysis

Lara Pilutti, Tina A. Greenlee, Robert W Motl, Megan S. Nickrent, Steven J Petruzzello

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE: To provide a quantitative synthesis of randomized controlled trials examining the effect of exercise training on symptomatic fatigue in persons with multiple sclerosis (MS). METHODS: Electronic databases (Web of Science, PubMed, PsycInfo, and Google Scholar) were searched for articles published between 1960 and October 2012 by using the key words "fatigue," OR "tiredness," OR "energy," OR "mood," OR "lassitude," AND "exercise," OR "physical activity," OR "rehabilitation," OR "fitness" WITH "multiple sclerosis." The initial search resulted in 311 articles, of which 74 were reviewed in detail and 17 met the inclusion criteria and provided enough data to compute effect sizes (ESs; Cohen d). The meta-analysis was conducted using a meta-analysis software program, and a random-effects model was used to calculate the overall ES, expressed as Hedge g. RESULTS: The weighted mean ES from 17 randomized controlled trials with 568 participants with MS was 0.45 (standard error = 0.12, 95% confidence interval = 0.22-0.68, z = 3.88, p ≤ .001). The weighted mean ES was slightly heterogeneous (Q = 29.9, df = 16, p = .019). CONCLUSIONS: The cumulative evidence supports that exercise training is associated with a significant small reduction in fatigue among persons with MS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)575-580
Number of pages6
JournalPsychosomatic Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013


  • exercise training
  • fatigue
  • multiple sclerosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Effects of exercise training on fatigue in multiple sclerosis: A meta-analysis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this