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Rheumatology (Oxford). 2003 Nov;42(11):1408-14. Epub 2003 Jun 27.

Aquatic fitness training for children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis.

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  • 1University Medical Centre Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands.



To evaluate the effects of an aquatic training programme for JIA patients.


Fifty-four patients with JIA (age range 5 to 13 yr) participated in this study and were randomized into an experimental (n = 27) and a control (n = 27) group. The children in the experimental group received a training programme consisting of a 1 h per week supervised training programme in a local pool of approximately 20 sessions. Effects were analysed on the following domains: functional ability, health-related quality of life, joint status and physical fitness.


Although all measures improved more in the experimental group than the control group, none of the differences was statistically significant.


The current research found no significant effect of an aquatic fitness training programme in children with JIA. Since there were no signs of worsening in health status, one can conclude that this was a safe exercise programme.

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