The objective of this study was to investigate the sustained effect of a rehabilitation programme for patients with ankylosing spondylitis, and to compare the effect of this intervention given in a Mediterranean vs a Norwegian setting. A total of 107 patients with ankylosing spondylitis applying for rehabilitation were randomized to a 4-week inpatient rehabilitation programme in a Mediterranean country or in Norway. The participants were evaluated clinically before and after the rehabilitation period (week 0 and 4) and in week 16. The ASsessments in Ankylosing Spondylitis working group’s Improvement Criteria (ASAS-IC), and tests of spinal mobility and physical capacity were used to measure treatment response. An ASAS20 improvement was still present at week 16 in 50% of the patients treated in a Mediterranean and 23% in a Norwegian centre (p = 0.006). The tests of spinal mobility, physical capacity, and almost all patient’s assessments of health status (ASAS-IC components) were still improved at week 16 after therapy in both climatic settings. While the improvements in physical capacity were comparable, the spinal mobility and ASAS-IC components improved more, and improvements were sustained longer, after rehabilitation in a Mediterranean setting.
Patients with ankylosing spondylitis benefit from a 4-week rehabilitation programme in Norway, but even more so from a similar programme in a Mediterranean setting.
A Y, Nordvåg BY, Stanghelle JK, Røisland M, Winther A, Pajunen PA, Garen T, Flatø B. Efficacy of rehabilitation for patients with ankylosing spondylitis: Comparison of a four-week rehabilitation programme in a Mediterranean and a Norwegian setting. J Rehabil Med. 2011 Apr 14;