The association between perceived fatigue and actual level of physical activity in multiple sclerosis

  • Rietberg M
  • Van Wegen E
  • Uitdehaag B
 et al. 
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Background: Both fatigue and reduced physical activity are important
consequences of multiple sclerosis ( MS). However, their mutual
association is poorly understood.
Objective: The objective of the study was to determine the relation
between perceived fatigue and home-based recording of motor activity in
patients with MS.
Methods: Found associations were checked for confounding by age,
Expanded Disability Status Scales (EDSS), disease duration, sub-type of
MS, anxiety, and depression. Forty-three ambulatory patients with MS
were recruited. Ambulatory physical activity was recorded for 24 hours.
Fatigue was assessed with the Fatigue Severity Scale (FSS), the Modified
Fatigue Impact Scale (MFIS) and the Checklist Individual Strength
(CIS20R). Linear regression was applied after which potential
confounding factors were introduced in a multivariate regression model.
Results: No significant associations between physical activity and
fatigue scores were found, except for the MFIS sub-scale `physical
activity' (beta(physical_activity) {[}beta(pa)] = -0.044; SE = 0.020).
The association between physical activity and the FSS score was
distorted by age, MS-type, anxiety and depression and the association
between physical activity and the MFIS score by age and depression. The
inverse association between MFIS sub-scale `physical activity' and
physical activity was significantly strengthened by adjusting for age
(beta(pa) = -0.052; SE = 0.019), sub-type of MS (beta(pa) = -0.048; SE =
0.020), anxiety (beta(pa) = -0.070; SE = 0.023) and depression (beta(pa)
= -0.083; SE = 0.023).
Conclusions: In MS, there is no, or at best a weak association between
severity of perceived fatigue and physical activity. Depending on the
fatigue questionnaire used, patient characteristics such as age, type of
MS, depression and anxiety are factors that may affect this

Author-supplied keywords

  • association
  • fatigue
  • multiple sclerosis
  • physical activity

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