Clinical Edge

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Exercise With Person-Centered Guidance Decreased Fatigue in Older Adults With RA

Moderate-to-high intensity exercise with person-centered guidance decreased fatigue and improved symptoms of depression and were accompanied by metabolic changes in older adults with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), a new study found. Comparisons were made between older adults (aged >65 years) with RA taking part in a 20-week moderate-to-high intensity exercise at a gym (n=36) or in home-based exercise of light intensity (n=38). Evaluations were performed at baseline, at 20 weeks, and at 52 weeks. Among the findings:

  • The subscales “physical fatigue” and “mental fatigue” in MFI-20 and symptoms of depression using Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) depression scale improved significantly at week 20 in the exercise group vs the control group.
  • Exercise did not influence global fatigue rated by Visual Analog Scale (VAS) or subscales “reduced motivation”, “reduced activity”, and “general fatigue” in MFI-20.
  • The improvements in physical fatigue were associated with changes in the metabolism of lipids, bile acids, urea cycle, and several sugars.


Kucharski D, et al. Moderate-to-high intensity exercise with person-centered guidance influences fatigue in older adults with rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatol Int. 2019;39(9):1585-1594. doi: 10.1007/s00296-019-04384-8.