All rights reserved. Introduction: Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) is a rheumatologic disease in children under 16 years old, which causes early physical disability. The use of hydrotherapy Watsu in these patients is proposed. Objective: To evaluate the effectiveness of Watsu compared to conventional hydrotherapy on health-related quality of life (HRQoL), functional health status, pain, and ranges of joint motion in patients with acute or subacute JIA. Patients and Method: Randomized (1:1) single-blind parallel controlled clinical trial in 46 patients with acute and subacute JIA between 8-18 years old. Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory 4.0 (PedsQL4.0), Childhood Health Assessment Questionnaire (CHAQ), and 10-joints Global range of motion score (GROMS) assessments were used at the beginning, post-treatment, and after three months of follow-up. Patients were randomly assigned to the Watsu group (n = 24) and to the conventional hydrotherapy group (n = 22), participating in 10 sessions of 45 minutes once a week. Results: Watsu therapy showed statistically significant improvements in physical functioning-HRQoL (p = 0.041), disability index (p = 0.015), distress index (p = 0.015), and functional health status-CHAQ (p = 0.013) after treatment compared to conventional hydrotherapy. Conclusions: Watsu therapy improved HRQoL, pain sensation, and functional health status compared to conventional hydrotherapy. Methodological adaptations are required in future studies to improve the external validity of these results.
- Autoimmune diseases
- Juvenile idiopathic arthritis