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Open Access Research

Effect on health-related quality of life of a multimodal physiotherapy program in patients with chronic musculoskeletal disorders

Antonio Ignacio Cuesta-Vargas12*, Manuel González-Sánchez2 and María Jesús Casuso-Holgado2

  • * Corresponding author: Antonio Ignacio Cuesta-Vargas acuesta@uma.es

Author Affiliations

1 School of Clinical Science, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia

2 Physiotherapy Department, University of Malaga, Malaga, Spain

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Health and Quality of Life Outcomes 2013, 11:19  doi:10.1186/1477-7525-11-19

Published: 16 February 2013

Abstract

Background

Musculoskeletal disorders are major causes of morbidity in the world, and these conditions have a strong negative influence in terms of health-related quality of life. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of an 8-week multimodal physical therapy program on general health state and health-related quality of life in patients with chronic musculoskeletal disorders.

Methods

There were 244 participants in this prospective cohort analysis with 8-week follow-up. The primary outcome was general health state (physical and mental components), determined with the Short Form-12 Health Survey (SF-12). The secondary outcome was health related quality of life, determined with the EuroQoL-5D and VAS. The intervention was evaluated by comparing pre- and post-outcome measurements. T-tests were performed for paired data.

Results

Differences were statistically significant for physical health state: +1.68 (p < 0.05) (baseline: 42.38); mental health state: +3.15 (p < 0.001) (baseline: 46.57); and health related quality of life: +0.18 (EuroQoL 5D) (baseline: 46.57) and +7.22 (EuroQoL_VAS) (p < 0.001) (baseline: 60.81). Intervention resulted in clinically relevant changes in terms of percentage improvement from baseline scores.

Conclusions

Eight weeks of a Multimodal Physical Therapy Program seemed to moderately enhance the general health state and HRQoL of patients with chronic musculoskeletal diseases. This kind of therapeutic exercise can be recommended to patients with chronic low back pain, chronic neck pain and osteoarthritis, at least in the short term.

Keywords:
Chronic musculoskeletal disorders; Multimodal physiotherapy; Aquatic exercise; HRQoL