An 8-week supervised therapeutic exercise program improved gait kinematic parameters, functional capacity, musculoskeletal health, and quality of life in people with hemophilia, a pilot study published in the journal Haemophilia found.
It was already known that regular exercise is beneficial for people with hemophilia. However, no studies have investigated the effect of exercise on gait parameters in this patient group.
A team of researchers was led by Sanli Sadi Kurdak, MD, PhD, from the Division of Sport Physiology, Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine at Çukurova University in Adana, Turkey.
They conducted a nonrandomized, controlled, interventional, prospective, single-center pilot study to assess the effects of an 8-week supervised therapeutic exercise program on gait kinematic parameters, functional capacity, musculoskeletal health, and quality of life in people with hemophilia.
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During the study, 19 people with hemophilia were allocated to either the 8-week exercise program or a control group. The outcome measures of the study were the Hemophilia Joint Health Score, a gait kinematic analysis, the 6-Minute Walk Test (6MWT), and the Hemophilia Quality of Life Questionnaire for Adults.
In patients who completed the exercise program, the total Hemophilia Joint Health Score and the Hemophilia Quality of Life Questionnaire score as well as the value of the 6MWT significantly improved.
In addition, gait kinematic parameters such as ankle dorsiflexion during the midstance phase, knee extension during the late swing phases and midstance, and ankle plantarflexion during the preswing phase of gait also improved following the exercise program.
However, when these parameters were assessed again 6 months after the end of the exercise program, it became apparent that improvements in the total Hemophilia Joint Health Score, the Hemophilia Quality of Life Questionnaire score, and the gait kinematic parameters were not maintained.
Deniz V, Guzel NA, Lobet S, et al. Effects of a supervised therapeutic exercise program on musculoskeletal health and gait in patients with haemophilia: a pilot study. Haemophilia. Published online October 22, 2021. doi:10.1111/hae.14444