Background Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) is a common chronic illness that affects 1 in 1,000 children (1). Patients with JIA may experience significant disability due to muscular weakness, joint pain, contracture, and physical deconditioning. Children with arthritis have been shown to participate in less physical activities and to have low functional ability and decreased physical fitness than their peers (2-5).
Objectives To investigate the effects of land-based home exercise program on pain, functional ability, and health-related quality of life in patients with JIA.
Methods A randomized controlled single-blind study design including 81 patients (ages 5-17 years) with JIA was used. Socio-demographic data and clinical features were assessed. Functional ability was assessed with 6-Minute Walking Test (6-MWT) and Childhood Health Assessment Questionnaire (CHAQ). Pain was measured using a Visual Analog Scale (VAS). Quality of life was evaluated with The Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory (PedsQL). Patients were randomly assigned to the exercise or control group. Exercise group (n=43) completed 12-week individually planned land-based home exercise program once a week at hospital for 4 days per week. Control group (n=38) was included in waiting list until the end of the study. All patients continued stable dosage on medication through the study.
Results In comparison of first assessment values for 6-MWT, CHAQ, VAS, PedsQL-self report and PedsQL-parent report, there was no statistically significant difference in all outcome measures between two groups. While only VAS score decreased significantly (p<0.01) in control group, statistically significant improvements (p<0.001) were found in all outcome measures in exercise group after 12 weeks. Except that VAS score (p>0.05), changes in other outcome measures (p<0.001) were significant in favour of exercise group.
Conclusions The study demonstratedthat participating in 12-week individually planned land-based home exercise program may result improved physical function and quality of life in patients with JIA.
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Disclosure of Interest None Declared