A pilot study on the effects of exercise in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus

Rosalind Ramsey-Goldman*, Ellen M. Schilling, Dorothy Dunlop, Craig Langman, Philip Greenland, Randal J. Thomas, Rowland W. Chang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Scopus citations


Objective. A pilot study was designed to assess the efficacy and safety of different exercise therapies on patient-reported fatigue and functional status. Methods. Ten patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) were randomly placed in either an aerobic exercise group (group 1: n = 5) or a range of motion/muscle strengthening (ROM/MS) exercise group (group 2: n = 5). Outcome measures assessed at baseline and the end of the study were fatigue, functional status, disease activity, cardiovascular fitness, isometric strength, bone mineral density (BMD) of the lumbar spine and femoral neck, and parathyroid hormone and osteocalcin as representarive bone biochemical markers for bone resorption and bone formation, respectively. Results. Both aerobic and ROM/MS types of exercise were safe and did not worsen SLE disease activity. Patients in both exercise groups showed some improvement in fatigue, functional status, cardiovascular fitness, and muscle strength, Both groups showed increased bone turnover, but BMD was unchanged. Eighty percent of the patients met the compliance standard for the study. Conclusions. This pilot study shows the feasibility of exercise for SLE patients. The potential value of this approach shows promise in the routine management of these patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)262-269
Number of pages8
JournalArthritis Care and Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2000


  • Exercise
  • Fatigue
  • Functional status
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology


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