Content » Vol 45, Issue 3

Original report

A three-week multidisciplinary in-patient rehabilitation programme had positive long-term effects in patients with ankylosing spondylitis: Randomized controlled trial

Ingvild Kjeken, Ingvild Bø, Aud Rønningen, Cristina Spada, Petter Mowinckel, Kåre Birger Hagen, Hanne Dagfinrud
National Resource Center for Rehabilitation in Rheumatology, Diakonhjemmets Hospital, P.O. Box 23, Vinderen, NO-0319 Oslo, Norway. E-mail:
DOI: 10.2340/16501977-1078


Objective: To evaluate the mean overall effects over a 1-year period of a multidisciplinary in-patient rehabilitation programme for patients with ankylosing spondylitis.
Design: Observer-blinded, randomized controlled trial, with assessments made after 4 and 12 months.
Patients: Forty-six patients received a 3-week in-patient rehabilitation programme and 49 patients received treatment as usual.
Methods: Primary outcomes were disease activity measured with the Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Disease Activity Scale (BASDAI), and function measured with the Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Functional Index (BASFI). Secondary outcomes included well-being, spinal and hip mobility, and health-related quality of life measured with the Medical Outcome Study Short Form-36. Overall treatment effects were estimated with Mixed models repeated measures analyses.
Results: Significant overall treatment effects in favour of the rehabilitation group were found in the BASDAI score (mean difference over the 1-year period –10. 0, 95% confidence interval: –3. 7 to –16. 3), in well-being (–7. 3, 95% confidence interval: –1. 0 to –14. 7), and in the Medical Outcome Study Short Form-36 variables social functioning, role physical, role mental and bodily pain (mean differences ranging from 5. 8 (pain) to 10. 7 (role physical)).
Conclusion: A 3-week in-patient rehabilitation programme had positive overall effects on disease activity, pain, function and well-being, and should be considered an important complement to medical disease management in persons with ankylosing spondylitis.

Lay Abstract


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