Effects of Pilates Exercises on Health-Related Quality of Life in Individuals With Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis



      To determine the effects of Pilates exercises on health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in individuals with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA).


      Randomized, prospective, single-blind trial.


      Outpatient clinic of pediatric rheumatology and the rehabilitation department.


      Children (N=50) with JIA according to the International League of Associations for Rheumatology criteria.


      Participants were randomly assigned into 2 groups. In group I (n=25), the participants were given a conventional exercise program for 6 months. Patients in group II (n=25) participated in a Pilates exercise program for 6 months.

      Main Outcome Measures

      The primary outcome measure was HRQOL, as measured by the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory version 4.0 (PedsQL 4.0). The secondary outcome measures provided an estimate of the clinical relevance of the primary outcome results and included joint pain intensity (according to a 10-cm visual analog scale), disability (according to the Childhood Health Assessment Questionnaire), joint status (using the Pediatric Escola Paulista de Medicina Range of Motion Scale), and the total PedsQL 4.0 score.


      All participants completed the study. The scores of the PedsQL 4.0 differed significantly between groups, indicating that Pilates exercises increased these scores when compared with the conventional exercise program. Group II participants showed significant improvements in the 10-cm visual analog scale-joint pain, Childhood Health Assessment Questionnaire, and Pediatric Escola Paulista de Medicina Range of Motion Scale.


      The use of Pilates exercises had a positive physical and psychosocial impact on HRQOL in individuals with JIA. Future multicenter studies with a follow-up beyond the period of treatment using more objective parameters will be useful to support the results of the present study.


      List of abbreviations:

      CHAQ (Childhood Health Assessment Questionnaire), CI (confidence interval), HRQOL (health-related quality of life), JIA (juvenile idiopathic arthritis), MCID (minimal clinically important difference), PedsQL 4.0 (Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory version 4.0), pEPM-ROM (Pediatric Escola Paulista de Medicina Range of Motion Scale), RR (relative risk), VAS (visual analog scale)
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