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European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine 2018 June;54(3):419-27

DOI: 10.23736/S1973-9087.16.04189-7

Copyright © 2016 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Does adapted physical activity‑based rehabilitation improve mental and physical functioning? A randomized trial

Cecilie RØE 1, 2 , Line PREEDE 2, Håkon DALEN 3, Erik BAUTZ‑HOLTER 1, 2, 3, Astrid NYQUIST 2, Leiv SANDVIK 4, Martin SAEBU 2

1 Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Oslo University Hospital, Oslo, Norway; 2 Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway; 3 Beitostølen Healthsports Center, Beitostølen, Norway; 4 Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, Oslo University Hospital, Oslo, Norway


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BACKGROUND: Persons with chronic disabilities face a wide variety of problems with functioning that affect their level of physical activity and participation. We have limited knowledge about the effect of adapted physical activity (APA)-based rehabilitation on perceived mental and physical functioning.
AIM: The main aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of APA‑based rehabilitation compared to waiting‑list on perceived mental and physical functioning. Secondly, we wanted to assess whether improvement in self‑efficacy, motivation, pain and fatigue during rehabilitation was related to the effect of the intervention.
DESIGN: Randomized controlled trial.
SETTING: In‑patient rehabilitation Center.
POPULATION: All subjects above 17 years who were referred by their physician to BHC between July 1, 2010 and August 1, 2012 without major cognitive or language problems were eligible for the study (N.=321).
METHODS: Persons above 17 years (men and women) with chronic disabilities who applied for a rehabilitation stay, were randomized to an adapted physical activity‑based rehabilitation intervention (N.=304) or waiting‑list with delayed rehabilitation. A total of 246 consented and were allocated to four week intervention or a waiting‑list control group. The main outcome was physical and mental functioning evaluated four weeks after rehabilitation using the Medical Outcomes Study 12-Item Short‑Form Health Survey (SF-12).
RESULTS: Compared to waiting‑list the adapted physical activity‑based intervention improved physical and mental functioning. Improvement in physical functioning during rehabilitation was related to reduced pain, improved motivation and self‑efficacy.
CONCLUSIONS: The results indicate that an adapted physical activity‑based rehabilitation program improves functioning. Improved efficacy for managing disability may mediate the improvement in mental functioning.
CLINICAL REHABILITATION IMPACT: Adapted physical activity‑based rehabilitation should be considered during the development of rehabilitation strategies for people with chronic disabilities. Motivational and self‑efficacy aspects must be addressed when organizing and evaluating rehabilitation programs.


KEY WORDS: Rehabilitation - Social participation - Motor activity - Randomized controlled trial - Disability evaluation

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