Characteristics of participants in water exercise programs compared to patients seen in a rheumatic disease clinic

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Issue Date
1993-09-20
Authors
Meyer, Cleda L.
Hawley, Donna J.
Advisor
Citation

Meyer, C.L., Hawley, D.J. Characteristics of participants in water exercise programs compared to patients seen in a rheumatic disease clinic (1994) Arthritis & Rheumatism. DOI: 10.1002/art.1790070207

Abstract

PURPOSE. To determine if community-based water exercise programs are serving people with significant levels of disability and pain. METHODS. Eighty-seven participants in water exercise classes and 174 patients from a rheumatic disease clinic were matched for age, sex, and diagnosis and comparisons were made between the groups for the study variables. RESULTS. Patients had significantly higher disability, pain, global disease severity, anxiety, and depression and lower grip strength than participants. Osteoarthritis (OA) patients (n = 126) compared to OA participants (n = 63) had similar significant differences for all variables. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients' (n = 48) scores were all more severe than RA participants' scores (n = 24), and these differences were similar in magnitude to OA differences, but only global disease severity and grip strength were statistically significantly different. CONCLUSIONS. Water exercise classes are reaching persons with important levels of dysfunction and pain, but more severely affected patients are underrepresented in such programs.

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