Coaching patients with early rheumatoid arthritis to healthy physical activity: a multicenter, randomized, controlled study.

Brodin N, Eurenius E, Jensen I, Nisell R, Opava CH,

The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of a 1-year coaching program for healthy physical activity on perceived health status, body function, and activity limitation in patients with early rheumatoid arthritis. 228 patients were randomized to 2 groups. All patients were regularly seen by rheumatologists and underwent rehabilitation as prescribed and those in the intervention group were further individually coached by a physical therapist to reach or maintain healthy physical activity. The percentages of individuals in the intervention and control groups fulfilling the requirements for healthy physical activity were similar before and after the intervention. Analyses of outcome variables indicated improvements in the intervention group over the control group in the EuroQol VAS and muscle strength, but not in any other variables assessed.

A 1-year coaching program for healthy physical activity resulted in improved perceived health status and muscle strength, but the mechanisms remain unclear, as self-reported physical activity at healthy level did not change.

Arthritis & Care Research, 2008, 59(3), 325-31

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