This meta-analysis examined the effects of the cooling therapies on fatigue, physical activity, and quality of life (QoL) in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS).
Articles published between 2000 and 2020 were searched in six databases. The standardized mean differences were determined by the upper and lower limits of 95% confidence intervals. Publication bias was assessed by conducting the Egger test, which uses linear regression. Publication bias was examined visually using a funnel plot.
Nine studies were included in this meta-analysis. The types of cooling therapies included cooling garment (n = 4), cooling device (n = 2), cooling room (n = 1), precooling (n = 1), and cold water ingestion (n = 1). The results indicated a significant decrease in fatigue and an increase in physical activity following cooling therapy. Cooling therapies improved the QoL of patients with MS. The Egger test indicated no significant publication bias. However, the funnel plot presented a slight asymmetry among studies.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance
Cooling therapies have a beneficial effect on fatigue, physical activity, and the QoL of patients with MS. Healthcare professionals can use cooling methods to manage thermosensitive symptoms in patients with MS.