The Effectiveness of Structured Group Education on Ankylosing Spondylitis Patients

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Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is a common inflammatory rheumatic disease that affects the axial skeleton which can lead to structural and functional impairments. It has a negative impact on the person's daily life activities. Early diagnosis, exercise and patient education are factors playing a major role on prognosis.


The purpose of the study was to compare the structured theoretical and exercise educational program with routine clinic educational efforts on the parameters of the disorder over a 3 month follow up.

Materials and Methods

This randomized, educational intervention study was performed on 41 AS patients. A 5 day structured education and exercise program was applied to the first group of patients (Group 1) in subgroups consisting 4–5 patients each. Patients had group exercises throughout the education program. The second group followed routine clinical care. The effectiveness of the treatment was assessed by Bath ankylosing spondylitis functional (BASFI), Bath ankylosing spondylitis disease activity (BASDAI), Bath ankylosing spondylitis global (BAS-G), Bath ankylosing spondylitis metrology indices (BASMI), chest expansion, short form-36 (SF-36), ankylosing spondylitis quality of life scale (ASQoL) and laboratory parameters in all patients. Patients were evaluated on initiation and after 3 months.


Significant improvements in BASFI, BASDAI and BAS-G, chest expansion, SF-36 and ASQoL indices were observed in Group 1 No difference could be found in BASMI and chest expansion.


A structured educational and exercise intervention had a positive effect on the functional status,disease activity, and general well-being and quality of life. It also, shows that education programs should be within the routine treatment program for AS.

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