Comprehensive rehabilitation of patients with rheumatic diseases in a warm climate: A literature review
Karin K.Ø. Forseth, Gunnar Husby, Ingiäld Hafström, Christina H. Opava
Objective: To present the evidence for the efficacy of comprehensive rehabilitation in a warm climate of patients with a wide variety of rheumatic diseases.
Methods: A systematic review of the literature was undertaken, searching in PubMed, Cinahl, Pedro, SweMed and Embase from 1970 to 2010, and using the GRADE (Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluation system) criteria.
Results: Six studies met the inclusion criteria. For patients with rheumatoid arthritis, moderate evidence was found for reduction of disease activity, pain, fatigue, and global disease impact. The evidence was also moderate that comprehensive rehabilitation in a warm climate did not improve fitness or reduce activity limitation beyond levels reached by rehabilitation in Scandinavia. Among patients with ankylosing spondylitis, low evidence was found for reduction of disease activity, pain, joint range of motion, activity limitation, and global disease impact. In groups with mixed rheumatic diagnoses, low evidence was found for reduction of pain, activity limitation, global disease impact and improved health-related
quality of life. No studies on psoriatic arthritis, osteoarthritis,
fibromyalgia or osteoporosis were found.
Conclusion: Well-designed studies to validate and improve the low-to-moderate evidence found for the efficacy of comprehensive rehabilitation in a warm climate among patients with inflammatory rheumatic disease are greatly needed.
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