2012, Volume 8, Issue 3

Improvement of the Quality of Life of persons with degenerative joint disease in the process of a comprehensive rehabilitation program enhanced by Tai Chi: the perspective of increasing therapeutic and rehabilitative effects through the applying of eastern techniques combining health-enhancing exercises and martial arts



Wiesław Tomaszewski1, Grzegorz Mańko2, Maria Pachalska3, Marzena Chantsoulis4, Jacek Perliński5, Beata Łukaszewska6, Magdalena Pawłowska3, Jarosław Jaszczur-Nowicki7

1College of Physiotherapy, Wroclaw, Poland
2Department of Ergonomics and Physiology, Institute of Physiotherapy, Faculty of Health Sciences, Collegium Medicum at the Jagiellonian University in Cracow, Cracow, Poland
3Department of Neuropsychology, Andrzej Frycz-Modrzewski Krakow University, Cracow, Poland
4Faculty of Physiotherapy, Academy of Physical Education, Cracow, Poland
5Faculty of Health Sciences, Department of Physiotherapy, The Elblag Institute of the Humanities and Economics, Elbląg, Poland
6Institute of Psychology, University of Gdansk, Gdansk, Poland
7Department of Individual Sports, Academy of Physical Education and Sport in Gdansk, Gdansk, Poland


Author for correspondence: Grzegorz Mańko; Department of Ergonomics and Physiology, Institute of Physiotherapy, Faculty of Health Sciences, Collegium Medicum at the Jagiellonian University in Cracow, Cracow, Poland; email: manko[at]fizjoterapia.pl


Full text

Abstract

Background and Study Aim: The main problem for patients with degenerative joint disease is the chronic pain associated with a lowered quality of life. The aim of the research was improvement of the quality of life of these patients undergoing a comprehensive rehabilitation programme employing strategic approaches, with the inclusion of Tai Chi, dictated by the programme’s goal.Materials and methods: The research covered a group of 40 patients suffering from degenerative joint diseases, undergoing a comprehensive rehabilitation programme at the Rehabilitation Centre in Krzeszowice. The research group comprised 30 women and 10 men. The mean age for the group was 63.5 ± 8.0 years. A Polish adaptation of the Arthritis Impact Measurement Scale-2 (AIMS-2) was used to evaluate quality of life. The patients were examined twice: before and after 3 weeks of the rehabilitation.Results: Before rehabilitation there occurs a lowered quality of life brought about chiefly by acute joint pain, which directly makes physical functioning difficult and indirectly influences those areas of quality of life linked to psychic and social functioning. As a result of implementing a comprehensive rehabilitation program there occurred an improvement in the quality of life. The results obtained were dependent on age, duration of the disease as well as the degree of joint degeneration.Conclusions: The applying of a comprehensive rehabilitation program improved the quality of life of the patients with degenerative joint disease. Selected Tai Chi exercises constitute a novel supplementation to a comprehensive rehabilitation programme, influencing its effectiveness.


Key words: aging, chronic pain, health behaviour, motor skills, osteochondritis, osteotomy, preventative (rehabilitative) behaviour, therapeutic behaviour