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Exercise program improves symptoms in arthritis patients
Date:1/4/2008

in and fatigue at 6 months. Although the Arthritis Foundation Exercise Program focuses mainly on range-of-motion and low-resistance exercises, a separate analysis found that those completing the program showed increased strength in their upper and lower extremities. This indicates that strength training, one of the more minor components of the program, was effective. Exercise endurance did not increase, but this is not surprising given the nature of the Arthritis Foundation Exercise program.

Although the participants maintained improvement in symptoms six months after completing the program, their function and belief that they could adequately complete the exercises (self-efficacy) were worse. However, participants who continued the program independently at home reported continued improvements, indicating that continued participation in exercise offers additional benefits. It is unclear why there was a decline in self-efficacy for exercise at 6 months, but the researchers note that it may be related to the fact that participants understood the benefits of exercise yet felt less confident without the class structure, frequency and social support.

Our findings indicate that the basic 8-week PACE (Arthritis Foundation Exercise) Program is a safe program for sedentary older individuals with arthritis to start exercising without exacerbating their symptoms, the authors conclude, adding that symptoms actually improved. They note that studies need to be conducted to determine if offering the program more than twice a week and for longer periods leads to additional benefits.


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Contact: Amy Molnar
amolnar@wiley.com
Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert

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