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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2010 March;50(1):1-18

Copyright © 2010 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Does physical activity affect quality of life, disease symptoms and immune measures in patients with inflammatory bowel disease? A systematic review

Packer N., Hoffman-Goetz L., Ward G.

Department of Health Studies and Gerontology, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada


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Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) are a group of chronic, episodic inflammatory conditions of the large and small intestines. Individuals with IBD have been reported to use physical activity (PA) as a complementary therapy although the effectiveness of PA for reducing disease burden in patients with IBD is not known. The review objective is to evaluate published studies on physical activity and IBD focusing on quality of life, disease burden markers and immunological outcomes. A literature search was carried out using MEDLINE, WEB OF SCIENCE, CINHAL, and SCOPUS (to December 2008). Studies were included if they 1) were provided in English; 2) dealt with IBD in humans; 3) focused on the outcome measures of health related quality of life, clinical disease indicators or immune function; and 4) included PA as a primary intervention for IBD cases. In total, 7 studies were included in this systematic review: 5 were on PA and quality of life measures and inflammatory disease markers, and 2 on PA and immune measures. Four studies showed that PA significantly increased quality of life for IBD patients as assessed by various questionnaires. PA was also associated with decreased disease activity. There was no evidence that PA affected immune outcomes in patients with IBD. The role of PA as an adjunctive therapy for patients with IBD has not been well characterized in the literature. However, there is some evidence that PA may improve quality of life and reduce disease activity in patients with IBD.

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