Background Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is a form of chronic inflammatory arthritis that leads to pain, stiffness, progressive spinal deformity, and spinal fusion, limitation of the spine, rib cage motion and severe functional impairment. Pulmonary function is altered in AS owing mainly to the limited chest expansion.
Objectives The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of rehabilitation on the limited chest expansion measured by respiratory index and relationship between duration of the rehabilitation and age, disease onset, disease duration and respiratory index in patients with AS during physical treatment and rehabilitation.
Methods The study was designed as a retrospective study that included 47 consecutive AS patients (33 male and 14 female), average age of 52.53±11.58 years that were hospitalized and treated in rehabilitation center. Average duration of the rehabilitation was 17.77±5.92 days. Respiratory index was measured for all AS patients at the beginning and at the end of rehabilitation with a centimeter ribbon. Student's t-test and Pearson's test of correlation were used for statistically analysis.
Results Average disease duration was 13.35±8.74 years, disease onset was at 39.64±12.87 years. Respiratory index was 1.98±1.34 cm at beginning of rehabilitation and 3.01±1.75 cm at the end of rehabilitation. The difference was statistically significant (t=8.025, p<0.001). Pearson's test of correlation was shown statistically significant correlation between value of respiratory index at beginning and at the end of rehabilitation (r=0.872, p<0.001). Duration of the rehabilitation (hospital days) statistically significant correlate with value of respiratory index at beginning rehabilitation (r=-0.289, p<0.05), but not with age, disease duration and disease onset (p>0.05).
Conclusions The physical therapy and rehabilitation has led to the improvement the respiratory index in patients with AS, which confirms its effectiveness. The value of respiratory index at beginning rehabilitation is associated with duration of the rehabilitation. Significant limitation in respiratory index indicates longer hospital stay. These results could be having importance in planning of rehabilitation of patients with AS.
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Disclosure of Interest None declared