medwireNews: Results of a randomized trial suggest that the addition of resistance training to conventional drug treatment may be beneficial for patients with psoriatic arthritis (PsA).
As reported in Clinical Rheumatology, the researchers found that mean functional capacity scores – measured using a modified version of the Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ-S) – improved from 0.72 points at baseline to 0.45 points at the 12-week follow-up among the 20 participants who were randomly assigned to undertake resistance training, consisting of exercises for the limbs and trunk.
By comparison, HAQ-S scores worsened from 0.69 points at baseline to 0.77 points at week 12 among the 21 patients receiving standard care, giving a significant difference between the two groups.
Similarly, patients in the resistance training group experienced significantly greater improvements in Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Disease Activity Index (BASDAI) scores over the study period than those receiving usual care, with changes from baseline to week 12 of 5.3 to 3.3 points and 4.5 to 4.8 points, respectively.
Patients undertaking resistance training also experienced significantly larger improvements in pain and general health status as assessed by the Short Form Health Survey.
Furthermore, mean Disease Activity Score at 28 joints (DAS28) and Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Functional Index (BASFI) scores improved significantly from baseline to week 12 only among patients in the resistance training group, although these changes were not statistically different from the changes over time in the control group.
Jamil Natour (Universidade Federal de São Paulo, Brazil) and colleagues observed improvements in muscle strength among patients taking part in resistance training; however, they note that there was no significant difference between the two groups for the majority of muscles tested, suggesting that “clinical improvements were not coupled to significant changes in muscular strength.”
They caution that the study was limited by the short duration of treatment time and limited sample size.
And the team concludes that, in accordance with previous studies of patients with other rheumatic diseases, “resistance exercises are effective in improving functional capacity, disease activity, and the general quality of life of patients with psoriatic arthritis.”
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