Exploring the effects of a combined exercise programme on pain and fatigue outcomes in people with systemic sclerosis

Concept

In addition to pain, fatigue has been identified as a key stressor and the most prevalent and debilitating symptom of SSc.  Pharmacological therapeutic strategies have not been proved sufficiently effective in the management of SSc-induced pain and fatigue. As yet, the effects of a feasible, long-term, tailored exercise programme on pain and fatigue in people with SSc have not been explored. Therefore, this project will carry out a multicentre (n=5) research clinical trial to assess the effect of a previously-established, supervised 12-week combined (aerobic and resistance training) exercise programme on pain and fatigue. The 26-month study will recruit 180 people with SSc that will be allocated randomly to two groups. Group A will perform the exercise programme parallel to standard care and Group B will receive the standard care alone. All participants will be followed for 24-weeks.

Facts and Figures

Project Lead
M Klonizakis
Sheffield Hallam University
m.klonizakis@shu.ac.uk,
FOREUM research grant: € 38'7216
2021 - 2024

Meet the Team

M Klonizakis
Sheffield Hallam University
A Mitropoulos
Sheffield Hallam University
T Vliet Vlieland
Leiden University Medical Centre
T Stamm
Medical University of Vienna (MUV)
M Mattsson
Karolinska Institutet/Sunderby hospital
S Jacobsen
Copenhagen University

Objectives

• To investigate the effects of the proposed intervention on digital pain and fatigue of people with SSc.
• To investigate the effects of the proposed intervention on QoL, depression, cardiorespiratory fitness, strength of people with SSc.
• To investigate the effects of the proposed intervention on the digital structural vascular changes in people with SSc.

Patient Voice

Participant inclusion:
1) People diagnosed with Systemic Sclerosis experiencing RP; 2) Being over 18 years old; and 3) Patients should be able to perform the prescribed exercise programme.

Benefits for patients:

  • Reduction of pain and fatigue.
  • Improvement in QoL, overall fitness, social life.
  • Prevention of open wounds in fingers and infections/hospitalisations.
  • Education on benefits of exercise on overall health gained through participation in exercise programme.

Goals/Milestones

Months 1-3: Study set up
Months 4-20: Recruitment, baseline assessments, exercise intervention and follow ups.
Months 21-23: Data analysis.
Months 24-26: Dissemination of findings and study close down. (Report to stakeholders, leaflet for the general public, approx. 4 manuscripts)