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ECPB 2019, 88(4): 45–52
Research articles

Influence of physical rehabilitation on the quality of life in patients with rheumatoid arthritis


Abstract. Data from the scientific literature on diseases related to rheumatoid arthritis have been analyzed and it has been determined that this disease has the greatest impact on changes in patients ‘personality and consciousness, which significantly affects the disease course and quality of life of patients. In order to improve the quality of life of patients, the idea arose to use physical activity not only as a factor in increasing the level of physical condition of the body, but also, as known from the literature, a factor of influence of physical activity on the emotional and psychological state of the human body, to increase the level of self-perception and self-esteem. The purpose is to identify the effect of individually dosed motor activity on the course of the disease and the quality of life of patients with rheumatoid arthritis. The quality of life of patients with rheumatoid arthritis was studied (based on the SF-36 questionnaire), who were hospitalized at the 4th City City Hospital in Lviv. 17 patients were examined. Patients had an advanced stage of the disease with a disease duration of more than 2 years in the presence of typical rheumatoid arthritis symptoms with functional I and II classes, which supported self-treatment and unprofessional occupational activity with moderate inflammatory activity (CDAI = 18.1 ± 2, 5 points). Taking into account the existing clinical and physiological criteria for determining the modes of movement in the physical rehabilitation of patients with rheumatoid arthritis, a comprehensive program of rehabilitation was proposed, which included: morning hygienic gymnastics, breathing exercises and exercises to strengthen muscles, proper distribution of muscles, correct distribution joint mobility. Individual selection of the amount of physical activity was carried out under the control of heart rate. If necessary, we adjusted the dosage of the exercises: the number of repetitions and the pace of execution, as well as the right combination of exercises with breathing. The results of the survey showed that the decline in physical functioning (p <0.01) in patients with rheumatoid arthritis was mainly due to the psychological component of health and its components (social functioning, role emotional functioning and mental health level) (p <0.01), since the level of pain intensity and overall health did not differ from that of healthy people (p> 0.05). As a result of performing a set of exercises in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, there was a positive tendency to change the physical component of health. This was confirmed by a decrease in the activity of the inflammatory process by the CDAI index (from 18.1 ± 2.5 to 11.2 ± 2.4 points) and a pronounced improvement in the psychological state of patients, which was confirmed by an increase in their psychological component of health (p <0, 01) and its components (social functioning (p <0.05), role emotional functioning, and mental health (p <0.01). Thus, the results obtained suggest that dosed, individually selected, motor activity has a positive effect on the course of the disease on rheumatoid arthritis and quality of life of patients with this disease, due to the normalization of the psychological and emotional state of patients, and may be the basis for the development of programs for such patients.

Received: 17.12.2019

Keywords: rheumatoid arthritis, prevalence, morbidity, quality of life, features of rehabilitation

Full text: PDF (Ukr) 896K

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