Link to original article: Home-based Pilates for symptoms of anxiety, depression and fatigue among persons with multiple sclerosis: An 8-week randomized controlled trial
Mult Scler. 2021 Dec; 27(14): 2267–2279.
Published online 2021 Apr 19. doi: 10.1177/13524585211009216 Karl M Fleming, Susan B Coote, and Matthew P Herring
Introduction by Meredith Brooks, PAA Treasurer
This study looked at the mental health benefits of Pilates for MS patients specifically but is valuable support for Pilates more generally.
It was actually a modest approach – just an 8 week home program guided by DVD, but even this produced significant results. It’s not hard to reason that longer programs, in person, in a more sociable environment is likely to be even better.
It is really useful evidence for all Pilates teachers.
Symptoms of anxiety, depression and fatigue are common comorbidities among persons with multiple sclerosis (PwMS). A previous pilot study supported Pilates as a feasible exercise modality that may improve these outcomes among PwMS.
To quantify the effects of 8 weeks of home-based Pilates on symptoms of anxiety, depression and fatigue among PwMS.
A total of 80 PwMS (69 female) were randomized to twice-weekly home-based Pilates guided by a DVD) or wait-list control. Validated questionnaires assessed anxiety, depressive and fatigue symptoms at baseline, weeks 2, 4, 6 and 8. Using intention to treat, repeated measures analysis of covariance (RM-ANCOVA) adjusted for baseline physical activity examined between-group differences across time. Hedges’ d quantified the magnitude of differences in outcome change. Sensitivity analyses examined female-only samples.
Group × time interactions were statistically significant for all outcomes (all p ⩽ 0.005). Pilates significantly reduced (all p ⩽ 0.03) depressive symptoms (Quick Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology, d = 0.70; Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale-Depression, d = 0.74), anxiety (State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, d = 0.30; Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale-Anxiety, d = 0.49), cognitive (d = 0.44), physical (d = 0.78), psychosocial (d = 0.56) and total fatigue (d = 0.76). Female-only results were materially the same.
Home-based Pilates significantly improved anxiety, depressive and fatigue symptoms among PwMS with minimal-to-mild mobility disability, including moderate-to-large, clinically meaningful improvements in depressive and fatigue symptoms.