Effect of balneotherapy on pain and fatigue in elderly with knee osteoarthritis receiving physical therapy: a randomized trial.
Int J Biometeorol. 2019 Dec ;63(12):1555-1568. Epub 2019 Jul 31. PMID: 31367893
This study aimed to investigate whether balneotherapy (BT) applied in combination with physical therapy (PT) has a more positive effect in patients aged 65 years and older with knee osteoarthritis (KOA) compared to PT alone. A total of 305 individuals were randomized into two groups. Group I was applied PT alone; group II was applied PT + BT. Assessments were made using the Pain (VAS), EQ-5D-3L Scale, Western Ontario And McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC), Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy-Fatigue (FACIT-F) Scale, Epworth Sleepiness scale (EPWORTH) and the Outcome Measures in Rheumatology-The Osteoarthritis Research Society International set of responder criteria for osteoarthritis (OMERACT-OARSI) at the beginning (T0) and at the end (T1) of treatment. Statistically significant interactions found between treatment (PT alone or PT + BT) and time (before treatment and after treatment) in terms of Pain-VAS, Pain-WOMAC, Stiffness-WOMAC, Physical Function-WOMAC, Total-WOMAC, EQ-5D, EQ-VAS, FACIT-F, and EPWORTH scores (p < 0.0001 for all). According to OMERACT-OARSI criteria, the responder rate was 89.04% in PT alone group and 98.74% in PT + BT group. Balneotherapy plus physical therapy was more effective than physical therapy alone in KOA patients aged over 65 years. Reducing pain, especially, positively contributes to functionality, quality of life, fatigue and sleepiness of KOA patients.