Exercise therapy in juvenile idiopathic arthritis: a Cochrane Review.


Takken T, Van Brussel M, Engelbert RH, Van Der Net J, Kuis W, Helders PJ

The objective of this review was to assess the effects of exercise therapy on functional ability, quality of life and aerobic capacity in children with JIA.  Three out of 16 identified studies met the inclusion criteria, with a total of 212 participants. The results suggest that the outcome measures all favoured the exercise therapy but none were statistically significant. None of the studies reported negative effects of the exercise therapy.

Overall, there was no clinically important or statistically significant evidence that exercise therapy can improve functional ability, quality of life, aerobic capacity or pain. The included and excluded studies were all consistent about the adverse effects of exercise therapy; no short-term detrimental effects of exercise therapy were found in any study. Both included and excluded studies showed that exercise does not exacerbate arthritis. Although the short-term effects look promising, the long-term effect of exercise therapy remains unclear.

European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine, 2008, 44(3), 287-97

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