Listed in Issue 179


MADDALI and COLLEAGUES,  Department of Biomedicine, Division of Rheumatology, AOUC, Denothe Centre, University of Florence, Italy conducted a clinical trial to evaluate the efficacy of a district specific and global rehabilitation program tailored for Systemic Sclerosis (SSc) patients.


Rehabilitation may contribute to the management of Systemic Sclerosis (SSc) dealing with disabilities due to skin and joint involvement. AIM: to evaluate the efficacy of a district specific and global rehabilitation program tailored for SSc patients.


20 SSc patients were enrolled and randomly assigned to 2 groups. Interventional group (10 pts) was treated that included hand and face specific rehabilitation and at least a global rehabilitation technique such as hydrokinesytherapy or land-based program, also comprising respiratory exercises. Hand lymphatic drainage was added when necessary. Observational group (10 patients) was only provided with educational advices and medical information about SSc. Patients were evaluated at baseline (T0) and after the 9 weeks treatment period (T1). Interventional group was also assessed after a 9 weeks follow-up (T2). Patients were evaluated by SF-36, HAQ and a purpose-built-questionnaire for global health condition and with Hamis test, Duruoz scale, range of motion, water volumetric test, mouth opening and a purpose-built-questionnaire for hand and face involvement.


At the end of the treatment, patients of interventional group improved in all the parameters evaluated. At follow-up, mouth mobility and functionality such as global health status was partially lost, only hand mobility and functionality parameters were maintained. No changes were observed in controls.


The association and of district-specific and global rehabilitative techniques conceived and tailored for SSc patients improves disability, HRQoL, hand and face disability and functionality, with its effects partially maintained at the follow-up.


Maddali Bongi S, Del Rosso A, Galluccio F, Tai G, Sigismondi F, Passalacqua M, Landi G, Baccini M, Conforti ML, Miniati I and Matucci-Cerinic M.   Efficacy of a tailored rehabilitation program for systemic sclerosis. Clinical & Experimental Rheumatology. 27(3 Suppl 54): 44-50. May-Jun 2009.

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