RHEUMATOLOGY INTERNATIONAL, vol.33, no.1, pp.71-77, 2013 (SCI-Expanded)
The importance of exercise and regular physiotherapy in patients with ankylosing spondylitis (AS) under treatment with tumor necrosis factor alpha inhibitors (TNF alpha inhibitors) was reported in some studies, but the literature on this topic is still scarce. The aim of this study was to assess the effects of home-based exercise therapy on functional capacity, disease activity, spinal mobility, quality of life, emotional state and fatigue in patients with AS receiving TNF alpha inhibitors. Forty-two AS patients were trained on the disease, and home-based exercise program was demonstrated to all the patients. At baseline and at the end of 10 week, we evaluated Bath AS Disease Activity Index, Bath AS Functional Index, Bath AS Metrology Index, Multidimensional Assessment of Fatigue Scale, Beck Depression Inventory and Short-Form 36. Patients following home-based exercise program five times a week at least 30 min per session (exercise group) were compared with those exercising less than five times a week (control group). At baseline, exercise and control group had similar demographic features. After 10 weeks, all outcome parameters showed statistically significant improvements in exercise group. There were significant differences in all the parameters except social functioning subscale of Short-Form 36 between groups in favor of exercise group at 10th week (P < 0.05). Home-based exercise program is an effective therapy in increasing functional capacity and joint mobility, decreasing disease activity, improving emotional state, fatigue and quality of life for AS patient receiving TNF alpha inhibitors. We need to find out new ways to provide continuity of AS patients with it.