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Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 125485, 10 pages
Research Article

Efficacy and Effectiveness of Exercise on Tender Points in Adults with Fibromyalgia: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials

1Meta-Analytic Research Group, Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences Center, Department of Community Medicine, School of Medicine, West Virginia University, P.O. Box 9190, Morgantown, WV 26506-9190, USA
2Department of Orthopaedics and Division of Physical Therapy, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV 26506-9196, USA

Received 14 June 2011; Accepted 12 July 2011

Academic Editor: Shinichi Kawai

Copyright © 2011 George A. Kelley et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Fibromyalgia is a major public health problem affecting an estimated 200 to 400 million people worldwide. The purpose of this study was to use the meta-analytic approach to determine the efficacy and effectiveness of randomized controlled exercise intervention trials (aerobic, strength training, or both) on tender points (TPs) in adults with fibromyalgia. Using random effects models and 95% confidence intervals (CI), a statistically significant reduction in TPs was observed based on per-protocol analyses (8 studies representing 322 participants) but not intention-to-treat analyses (5 studies representing 338 participants) (per-protocol, 𝑔 , −0.68, 95% CI, −1.16, −0.20; intention-to-treat, 𝑔 , −0.24, 95% CI, −0.62, 0.15). Changes were equivalent to relative reductions of 10.9% and 6.9%, respectively, for per-protocol and intention-to-treat analyses. It was concluded that exercise is efficacious for reducing TPs in women with FM. However, a need exists for additional well-designed and reported studies on this topic.