New research conducted by scientists fromUniversity of Aberdeenl showed that physical activity and psychotherapy relieve fatigue in those affected by inflammatory rheumatic diseases (IRD) like therheumatoid arthritisaxial spondylitis and lupus.
In the UK alone 80% of patients with inflammatory rheumatic diseases live with fatigue every day, an extreme physical and mental fatigue that affects people’s ability to concentrate, go to work and live independently, considered the most common symptom important of IRD after pain.
The results of the Research have been published in the scientific journal The Lancet Rheumatology.
Inflammatory rheumatic diseases and fatigue: this is what the new study revealed
The LIFT study has provided new evidence that non-drug treatments such as physical activity and cognitive behavioral therapy should be an integral part of treating inflammatory rheumatic diseases in clinical practice. Previous research has exclusively analyzed these treatments for fatigue in specific diseases.
“Fatigue really affects what you can do“, he has declared Wendy Booth, 57, living with lupus and Sjögren’s syndrome. “If I work in the garden one day, I know I’ll pay for it the next. You really have to learn to keep up with the pace, but while I’ve tried, I’ve never been able to hold back ”.
Wendy received physical activity sessions as part of the LIFT study and joined the gym, saying she feels mentally and physically stronger than before: “The physiotherapist called me about once every fortnight and really encouraged me. This is how I feel: the LIFT studio has helped me to give myself a purpose “.
The first study of its kind, conducted by Aberdeen University And Glasgowcompared three different types of assistance, provided to 368 people with various inflammatory rheumatic diseases. THE researchers revealed that personalized physical activity programs and cognitive behavioral approaches significantly improved fatigue in the study group compared to patients who received protocol care.
The University of Aberdeen and University of Glasgow study with the NHS and other academic partners, including the University of Manchester, Kings College London, Glasgow Caledonian University and the University of the West of England, is the greater work aimed at examining fatigue, with specific interventions on patients with inflammatory rheumatic diseases.
Individuals recruited to participate in the research who were assigned personal physical activity programs received an average of five 45-minute one-to-one sessions over 30 weeks. Patients who received cognitive behavioral approaches received an average of eight sessions over the same period. Both interventions were delivered by local NHS rheumatology health professionals.
The group that received the “routine care” received an educational booklet on fatigue against arthritis. Participants who participated in personal physical activity programs and cognitive behavioral therapy produced and maintained statistically and clinically significant reductions in the severity and impact of fatigue in a variety of inflammatory rheumatic disease conditions. The benefits were maintained six months after the completion of the treatment courses.
Both interventions also improved the participants’ sleep and mental health-related quality of life. The lead researcher, Professor Neil Basu who did most of the research at the University of Aberdeen, but now at the University of Glasgow, said: “Previous studies have looked at interventions like these but only in specific diseases. Our study is unique in that it examines the full breadth of inflammatory rheumatic diseases and as such is more in line with the demands that would be placed on a rheumatology service. In addition, it provides new evidence that some non-drug interventions can be successfully delivered. and effectively by non-specialists who are members of the clinical service “.
“It was encouraging to see that the interventions resulted in improvements for the participants even six months after the end of the treatment. It’s also nice to see that these steps have had an impact even when delivered over the phone. Since the onset of the pandemic, health care services have been reimagined to incorporate greater remote care, however the evidence base supporting this shift has generally been limited “, continued Professor Basu.
The doctor Neha Issar-Browndirector of health research and intelligence at the charity Versus Arthritishe has declared: “Fatigue and chronic pain go hand in hand as twin challenges for people living with inflammatory rheumatic diseases (IRDs) such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus But fatigue tends not to respond to medication for these conditions and often doesn’t come recognized by doctors “.
“There is an urgent and unmet need for more evidence-based interventions, including better access to non-drug treatments such as cognitive behavioral therapies (CBT) and supported physical activity, so that more people with inflammatory rheumatic diseases can maintain their own independence, stay at work and enjoy better mental health, which we know these conditions can cruelly take away “.
“Implementing the LIFT study across the health service would give people with inflammatory arthritis and related conditions access to the support they need to manage fatigue while producing lasting improvements to their mental health“Concluded Dr. Neha Issar-Brown.
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