It follows from data from a study in Puerto Rico.
Dr. Valeria Lozada, currently a resident of the Department of Physiatry of the Veterans Hospital, part of the authors of the study. Photo: Recording capture during presentation of the study with the Journal of Medicine and Public Health.
The use of physical therapy and rehabilitation for patients with arthritis and its variants as part of the multidisciplinary treatment, together with pharmacological therapy, could represent a benefit for the symptoms and quality of life of this population in Puerto Rico.
This emphasis was born from a study recently carried out in the country by a team from the Central Caribbean University (UCC) at the time of the study, and which also supports the lack of education that these patients have regarding treatment alternatives. treatment from which they could benefit, beyond clinical treatments.
The research was also based on data previously collected in a questionnaire issued by the Urban Medicine group of the UCC, which showed that among the most prevalent diseases in the metropolitan area and rural areas of Puerto Rico, arthritis was found as a common denominator, explained the Dr. Valeria Lozada, currently a resident of the Department of Physiatry of the Veterans Hospital, part of the authors of the study.
“Our hypothesis was that economic and location factors would be the primary reasons for not going to a rehabilitation center, but to our surprise, the results indicated something different. (…) The majority of people (in the study) responded don’t use a joint rehab center with pharmacological therapy, after being diagnosed with arthritis,” revealed López, who added that the data prevailed among the sample from both urban and rural areas.
The current study was divided between precisely both areas of the Island, investigating among the patients who had used the rehabilitation centers, the reasons of another party for not using them (distance from the center, economic reasons, lack of support or lack of education) and also understand if the people who used them had experienced improvement in their symptoms and quality of life.
“When we asked them the reason why they did not use the rehabilitation centers, the main answer was not because of a distance issue or because of an economic issue, but rather because of a subject of lack of knowledgeOver the benefits of physical therapy as part of your treatment and benefits. The other two most prevalent reasons were those of economic origin and location, since patients responded that they thought they had to pay apart from their treatment or simply did not have a medical plan, “he explained.
He added that part of the sample indicated using the rehabilitation and therapy centers physical, and that all responded that they had noticed some kind of improvement between little, moderate or significant.
Precisely, the data allowed the group to deduce that this type of population of rheumatic patients could improve their clinical outlook if they include physical therapy as part of their treatment, “and include physical therapy as part of arthritis treatment together with pharmacological therapy”.
“The fact that patients who did not use physical therapy and rehabilitation centers is an important encounter, since as doctors, medical students, health professionals, it is necessary to educate these patients about all the options they have around It is relevant to recognize that there are different types of arthritis, be it rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, psoriatic arthritis, among others, and that each one has its pharmacological therapy (…) but including physical therapy as an adjunct does provide quality of life for these patients,” concluded Dr. López.
He assured that, as has been reported in the Journal of Medicine and Public Health through a study in 2019, there is a lack of greater education for rheumatic patients, as was palpated in turn by the ongoing investigation of which he formed part.
“We must provide more educational material in Spanish about the different modalities with which improvements are being seen for this condition (arthritis), and recognize that both targeted and general physical therapy may provide some benefit for these patients,” he reiterated.
Arthritis affects more than 3.1 million Hispanics in the United States and Puerto Rico, and said statistics are on the rise, he reported.
Pain, swollen joints, stiffness, among other symptoms, characterize the condition, including its variants.
See the study presentation here: