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A Journal on Angiology

Official Journal of the International Union of Angiology, the International Union of Phlebology and the Central European Vascular Forum
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International Angiology 2002 June;21(2):196-200


language: English

Changes in the use of health resources by patients with chronic phlebopathies after thermal hydrotherapy Report from the Naiade project, a nation-wide survey on thermal therapies in Italy

Coccheri S., Nappi G. *, Valenti M. **, Di Orio F. **, Altobelli E. **, De Luca S.

Cardiovascular Department, Division of Angiology, University Hospital St. Orsola, Bologna, Italy * Postgraduate School of Medical Hydrology, University of Milan, Milan, Italy ** Department of Internal Medicine and Public Health, University of L’Aquila, L’Aquila, Italy


Background. Chronic ­venous dis­or­ders carry life­long med­i­cal and ­social bur­dens. Within con­ser­va­tive approach­es, spa hydro­ther­a­py is pop­u­lar among ­patients with ­venous dis­or­ders in Europe, but wheth­er the prac­tice is asso­ciat­ed with ­health or ­social ben­e­fits ­remains con­tro­ver­sial.
Methods. The ­present work is a sub­study of the ­nation-wide Italian Naiade Project, a large mul­ti­cen­ter obser­va­tion­al exer­cise on spa treat­ments in dif­fer­ent dis­ease ­groups. The “Chronic Phlebopathies” sub­study includ­ed 2504 ­patients with pri­mary or sec­on­dary varic­o­sis or non-var­i­cose ­venous insuf­fi­cien­cy. After a first visit and admin­is­tra­tion of a ­detailed ques­tion­naire, ­patients under­went a “ther­mal cycle” of 15-20 days con­sist­ing of under­wa­ter ­active and pas­sive phys­i­cal ther­a­py with min­er­al ­waters. The same pro­ce­dures were repeat­ed after 1 year on the 1352 ­patients (54%) who spon­ta­ne­ous­ly ­returned to the same spa. Primary end­points of the study were some indi­ca­tors of the use of ­health resourc­es relat­ed to the year after the first ther­mal cycle, com­pared with the same indi­ca­tors record­ed at first visit using appro­pri­ate sta­tis­ti­cal meth­ods.
Results. The occur­rence of acute ­venous epi­sodes, work­ing days ­missed, num­ber and dura­tion of hos­pi­tal admis­sions, con­sump­tion of drugs and phys­i­cal ther­a­pies were all sig­nif­i­cant­ly ­reduced in the year after ther­mal ther­a­py, thus indi­cat­ing less­er use of ­health resourc­es.
Conclusions. The study sug­gests that ther­mal hydro­ther­a­py in ­patients with chron­ic ­venous dis­or­ders is asso­ciat­ed with ­health and ­social ben­e­fits.

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