Effects of lifestyle physical activity and sedentary behaviour interventions on disease activity and patient- and clinician- important health outcomes in rheumatoid arthritis: a systematic review with meta-analysis

Sophia M Brady, Jet J C S Veldhuijzen van Zanten, Petros C Dinas, Tom E Nightingale, George S Metsios, Saleh M A Elmsmari, Joan L Duda, George D Kitas, Sally A M Fenton*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Lifestyle physical activity (PA) is defined as any type of PA undertaken as part of daily life. It can include engagement in activities of daily living (i.e., household chores, gardening, walking to work), incidental PA, walking and/or reducing sedentary or sitting behaviours (SB). Regular PA is recommended for people with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) to reduce disease activity and systemic inflammation, as well as to improve patient- and clinician-important health outcomes. However, there is no summarised evidence of the effectiveness of interventions specifically targeting lifestyle PA and SB in this population. The aims of this systematic review with meta-analysis were to evaluate interventions targeting lifestyle PA and/or SB on 1) disease activity; 2) PA, SB and 3) patient- and clinician-important outcomes in people with RA.

METHODS: Eight databases [Medline, Cochrane Library CENTRAL, Web of Science, PsychINFO, Cumulative Index to Nursing & Allied Health Literature, Scopus, Excerpta Medica database and Physiotherapy Evidence Database] were searched from inception-August 2022. Inclusion criteria required interventions to target lifestyle PA and/or SB, conducted in adults with RA, assessing patient- and/or clinician-important outcomes.

RESULTS: Of 880 relevant articles, 16 interventions met the inclusion criteria. Meta-analyses showed statistically significant effects of interventions on disease activity (standardised mean difference = -0.12 (95% confidence interval = -0.23 to -0.01, I 2  = 6%, z = 2.19, p = .03), moderate-to-vigorous PA, light/leisure PA, steps, functional ability, and fatigue. Whereas, no intervention effects were visualised for total PA, pain, anxiety or quality of life.

CONCLUSIONS: Lifestyle PA interventions led to increased PA, reductions in SB and improvements in disease activity and other patient- and/or clinician-important health outcomes in people with RA. Future interventions should be less heterogenous in content, structure, focus and outcome measures used to aid understanding of the most effective intervention components for improving health. More SB interventions are needed to determine their effectiveness at producing clinical benefits.

Original languageEnglish
Article number27
Number of pages26
JournalBMC Rheumatology
Volume7
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 6 Sept 2023

Bibliographical note

© 2023. BioMed Central Ltd., part of Springer Nature.

Keywords

  • Disease activity
  • Health
  • Intervention
  • Lifestyle physical activity
  • Physical activity
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Sedentary behaviour
  • Systematic review

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