Emel Ekşioğlu, Eda Gürçay, Serdil Yüzer, Ajda Bal, Aytül Çakcı

Ankara Dışkapı Yıldırım Beyazıt Eğitim ve Araştırma Hastanesi Fizik Tedavi ve Rehabilitasyon Kliniği

Keywords: Balneology; disability evaluation; exercise therapy; physical therapy; quality of life; questionnaires; spondylitis, ankylosing/rehabilitation.


Objectives: We evaluated the effects of exercise habit and previously received spa and physical therapy on functional status, disease activity, and quality of life of patients with ankylosing spondylitis (AS).
Patients and methods: The study included 65 patients (49 men, 16 women; mean age 40.6±12.5 years) with the diagnosis of AS according to the modified New York criteria. The mean disease duration was 15.1±10.7 years. The patients were evaluated in groups with respect to their exercise habits and previously received spa and physical therapy. The following instruments were administered to the patients to evaluate functional ability, disease activity, and quality of life: the Bath AS Functional Index (BASFI), Bath AS Disease Activity Index (BASDAI), and AS quality of life questionnaire (ASQoL), respectively. The effects of exercise habits and previously received spa and physical therapy on these instruments were assessed.
Results: The scores of BASFI, BASDAI, and ASQoL did not differ significantly in patient groups formed according to exercise habits (regular exercise, irregular exercise, and no exercise), the frequency of spa therapy received (regular, only once, and no spa therapy), and the frequency of physical therapy (regular, only once, and no physical therapy) (p>0.05).
Conclusion: In order to obtain long-term and consistent efficiency from exercise, spa therapy, and physical therapy, patients with AS should incorporate these applications into their life-style and persevere without discontinuation.