No difference in effectiveness measured between treatment in a thermal bath and in an exercise bath in patients with rheumatoid arthritis

Authors: Landewé R (1) , Peeters R , Verreussel RL , Masek BA , Goei The HS
(1) St. Maartens Gasthuis, afd. Reumatologie
Source: Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd. 1992 Jan 25;136(4):173-6
DOI: Not specified Publication date: 1992 Jan E-Publication date: Not specified Availability: abstract Copyright: Not specified
Language: English Countries: The Netherlands Location: Arcen Correspondence address: Not specified


Article abstract


To determine whether hydrotherapy in a thermomineral institution is superior to the same hydrotherapy in an ordinary hospital exercise-bath.


Controlled therapeutic trial.


The thermomineral institution at Arcen and the exercise bath at the Maasland Hospital in Sittard, the Netherlands.


46 patients with rheumatoid arthritis were treated in a by a skilled physiotherapist, according to a standardized exercise-scheme: 27 were treated in the thermomineral institution and 19 (control-group) in the hospital exercise-bath. Each patient received 12 treatments in 12 weeks. ENDPOINTS PARAMETERS: Morning stiffness, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, Ritchie index, amount of pain, answers to 11 questions concerning the activities of daily life, and psychosocial aspects of the disease. The various subjective and objective parameters were scored by the same physician.


Statistically significant improvement was observed in both groups concerning morning stiffness. Other subjective parameters improved, but did not reach significance. Objective parameters did not change significantly. Between-group differences were not found.


Hydrotherapy has a positive effect on some subjective but not on objective parameters in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, whether it is applied in a thermomineral institution or an ordinary hospital exercise bath.

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