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ISSN: 0034-6233
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vol. 51
Original paper

A preliminary evaluation of the effects of comprehensive rehabilitation on emotional well-being and the quality of life in female patients with osteoarthritis

Ewa Gaszewska
Krystyna Księżopolska-Orłowska
Olga Krasowicz-Towalska
Marcin Kożuchowski
Teresa Sadura-Sieklucka

Reumatologia 2013; 51, 5: 342-347
Online publish date: 2013/10/31
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Objectives: To evaluate the effects of comprehensive rehabilitation on psychological and emotional well-being as well as on the quality of life in female patients with multiple degenerative lesions of the musculoskeletal system.

Material and methods: Thirty-one female patients with multiple-site musculoskeletal degenerative lesions were included in the study. Two rehabilitation strategies were used: group I (n = 18) underwent conventional physiotherapy and kinesiotherapy (aquatic exercises), whereas group II (n = 13) underwent cryotherapy and kinesiotherapy. Each patient was examined three times: prior to therapy, 4 weeks into her rehabilitation course, and 3 months after its completion. The GHQ-28 questionnaire was used to assess the patients’ psychological status and the SF-36 was used to assess the quality of life and daily subjective pain severity. The results were used in a statistical analysis.

Results: According to the subjective pain assessment questionnaire, both groups were comparable in terms of reduction in pain severity (%). Pain alleviation was observed in both study groups also based on the SF-36, and reduced pain severity persisted in both groups at 3 months following therapy completion. According to GHQ-28 results, the psychological and emotional well-being of patients after rehabilitation, treated with either aquatic exercises (group I) or cryotherapy (group II), clearly improved. In group I, there were clear effects immediately following treatment, with a reduced improvement after 3 months, though not down to the baseline level, whereas in group II a clear and sustained health improvement was observed.

Conclusions: Comprehensive rehabilitation in osteoarthritis, regardless of the strategy used reduces pain and has a beneficial effect on patients’ emotional and psychological well-being. A reduction in pain severity was associated with improved psychological and emotional functioning.

osteoarthritis, quality of life, emotional well-being, comprehensive rehabilitation

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