The optimal frequency of aquatic physiotherapy for individuals with chronic musculoskeletal pain: a randomised controlled trial

Cuesta-Vargas, Antonio I., White, Melanie, González-Sánchez, Manuel, & Kuisma, Raija (2015) The optimal frequency of aquatic physiotherapy for individuals with chronic musculoskeletal pain: a randomised controlled trial. Disability and Rehabilitation, 37(4), pp. 311-318.

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To establish whether there was a difference in health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in people with chronic musculoskeletal disorders (PwCMSKD) after participating in a multimodal physiotherapy program (MPP) either two or three sessions a week.


Total of 114 PwCMSKD participated in this prospective randomised controlled trial. An individualised MPP, consisting of exercises for mobility, motor-control, muscle strengthening, cardiovascular training, and health education, was implemented either twice a week (G2: n = 58) or three times a week) (G3: n = 56) for 1 year. Outcomes: HRQoL physical and mental health state (PHS/MHS), Roland Morris disability Questionnaire (RMQ), Neck-Disability-Index (NDI) and Western Ontario and McMaster Universities’ Arthritis Index (WOMAC) were used to measure outcomes of MPP for people with chronic low back pain, chronic neck pain and osteoarthritis, respectively. Measures were taken at baseline, 8 weeks (8 w), 6 months (6 m), and 1 year (1 y) after starting the programme. Results: No statistically significant differences were found between the two groups (G2 and G3), except in NDI at 8 w (−3.34, (CI 95%: −6.94/0.84, p = 0.025 (scale 0–50)). All variables showed improvement reaching the following values (from baseline to 1 y) G2: PHS: 57.72 (baseline: 41.17; (improvement: 16.55%), MHS: 74.51 (baseline: 47.46, 27.05%), HRQoL 0.90 (baseline: 0.72, 18%)), HRQoL-VAS 84.29 (baseline: 58.04, 26.25%), RMQ 4.15 (baseline: 7.85, 15.42%), NDI 3.96 (baseline: 21.87, 35.82%), WOMAC 7.17 (baseline: 25.51, 19.10%). G3: PHS: 58.64 (baseline: 39.75, 18.89%), MHS: 75.50 (baseline: 45.45, (30.05%), HRQoL 0.67 (baseline: 0.88, 21%), HRQoL-VAS 86.91 (baseline: 52.64, 34.27%), RMQ 4.83 (baseline: 8.93, 17.08%), NDI 4.91 (baseline: 23.82, 37.82%), WOMAC 6.35 (baseline: 15.30, 9.32%).


No significant differences between the two groups were found in the outcomes of a MPP except in the NDI at 8 weeks, but both groups improved in all variables during the course of 1 year under study.

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ID Code: 85459
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
DOI: 10.3109/09638288.2014.918191
ISSN: 1464-5165
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Clinical Sciences
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2015 Taylor & Francis
Deposited On: 18 Sep 2015 06:19
Last Modified: 09 Oct 2015 01:37

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