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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1942/2716

Title: Combined spa-exercise therapy is effective in patients with ankylosing spondylitis: A randomized controlled trial
Authors: Van Tubergen, A
Landewe, R
Hidding, A
Wolter, N
Asscher, M.
Falkenbach, A
Genth, E
The, HG
Van der Linden, S
Issue Date: 2001
Publisher: WILEY-LISS
Abstract: Objective. To determine the efficacy of combined spa-exercise therapy in addition to standard treatment with drugs and weekly group physical therapy in patients with ankylosing spondylitis (AS). Methods. A total of 120 Dutch outpatients with AS were randomly allocated into 3 groups of 40 patients each. Group 1 (mean age 48 +/- 10 years; male:female ratio 25:15) was treated in a spa resort in Bad Hofgastein, Austria; group 2 (mean age 49 +/- 9 years; male:female ratio 28:12) in a spa resort in Arcen, The Netherlands. The control group (mean age 48 10 years; male:female ratio 34:6) stayed at home and continued their usual drug treatment and weekly group physical therapy during the intervention weeks. Standardized spa-exercise therapy of 3 weeks duration consisted of group physical exercises, walking, correction therapy (lying supine on a bed), hydrotherapy, spoils, and visits to either the Gasteiner Heilstollen (Austria) or sauna (Netherlands). After spa-exercise therapy all patients followed weekly group physical therapy for another 37 weeks. Primary outcomes were functional ability, patient's global well-being, pain, and duration of morning stiffness, aggregated in a pooled index of change (PIC). Results. Analysis of variance showed a statistically significant time-effect (P < 0.001) and time-by-treatment interaction (P = 0.004), indicating that the 3 groups differed over time with respect to the course of the PIC. Four weeks after start of spa-exercise therapy, the mean difference in PIC between group 1 and controls was 0.49 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.16-0.82, P = 0.004) and between group 2 and controls was 0.46 (95% Cl 0.15-0.78, P = 0.005). At 16 weeks, the difference between group 1 and controls was 0.63 (95% Cl 0.23-1.02, P = 0.002) and between group 2 and controls was 0.34 (95% CI - 0.05-0.73; P = 0.086). At 28 and 40 weeks, more improvement was found for group 1 compared with controls (P = 0.012 and P = 0.062, respectively) but not for group 2 compared with controls. Conclusion. In patients with AS, a 3-week course of combined spa-exercise therapy, in addition to drug treatment and weekly group physical therapy alone, provides beneficial effects. These beneficial effects may last for at least 40 weeks.
Notes: Univ Hosp Maastricht, Dept Med, Div Rheumatol, NL-6202 AZ Maastricht, Netherlands. Atrium Med Ctr, Heerlen, Netherlands. Univ Ctr Diepenbeek, Diepenbeek, Belgium. Inst Rehabil Res, Hoensbroek, Netherlands. ARBO Unie Oost Brabant, Eindhoven, Netherlands. Gasteiner Heilstollen Hosp, Badgastein, Austria. Gastein Res Inst, Badgastein, Austria. Rheuma Clin & Res Inst, Aachen, Germany.Van Tubergen, A, Univ Hosp Maastricht, Dept Internal Med, Div Rheumatol, POB 5800, NL-6202 AZ Maastricht, Netherlands.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1942/2716
DOI: 10.1002/1529-0131(200110)45:5<430::AID-ART362>3.0.CO;2-F
ISI #: 000172489000006
ISSN: 0004-3591
Category: A1
Type: Journal Contribution
Validation: ecoom, 2002
Appears in Collections: Research publications

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