The prevalence of chronic conditions increases with age, affecting approximately 62% of Americans aged 65 and older. Chronic conditions commonly result in fatigue which can be described as a disruptive and overwhelming symptom with cognitive components in adults with chronic conditions. Its prevalence in the people with chronic diseases ranges from 39% to 80%, significantly impacting quality of life and hindering engagement in physical activity. Evidence suggests that physical activity offers numerous health benefits, including improved cognitive function and mental health. However, fatigue poses a significant obstacle for adults with chronic conditions to engage in physical activity. The objective of this systematic review was twofold: (1) to investigate the impact of physical activity interventions on fatigue reduction, and (2) to assess the efficacy of these interventions. Of the 38 articles that this review analysed, the results showed that physical activity reduces levels of fatigue. Physical activity interventions lasting 2-6 weeks showed positive effect on fatigue reduction, while 18-24 sessions displayed a substantial impact on fatigue reduction. In summary, physical activity interventions showed a reduction in fatigue among adults with chronic conditions.
Fatigue is barrier of physical activity participation in adults with chronic conditions. However, physical activity alleviates fatigue symptoms. This systematic review and meta-analysis aimed to (1) synthesise evidence from randomised controlled trials (RCTs) exploring the effects of physical activity interventions on fatigue reduction and (2) evaluate their effectiveness. Medline/CINAHL/EMBASE/Web of Science and Scopus were searched up to June 24th, 2023. Two reviewers independently conducted study screening and selection (RCTs), extracted data and assessed risk of bias (RoB2). Outcome was the standardised mean difference (SMD) with 95% confidence intervals in fatigue between experimental and control groups. 38 articles met the inclusion criteria. Overall, physical activity interventions moderately reduced fatigue (SMD = 0.54, p < 0.0001). Interventions lasting 2–6 weeks demonstrated a larger effect on fatigue reduction (SMD = 0.86, p < 0.00001). Interventions with 18–24 sessions showed a large effect on fatigue reduction (SMD = 0.97, p < 0.00001). Aerobic cycling and combination training interventions had a large to moderate effect (SMD = 0.66, p = 0.0005; SMD = 0.60, p = 0.0010, respectively). No long-term effects were found during follow-up. Physical activity interventions moderately reduced fatigue among adults with chronic conditions. Duration, total sessions, and mode of physical activity were identified as key factors in intervention effectiveness. Further research is needed to explore the impact of physical activity interventions on fatigue.
Article Publication Date: 4/9/2023