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Review: dynamic exercise increases aerobic capacity and muscle strength in rheumatoid arthritis

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Question Can dynamic exercise therapy improve joint mobility, muscle strength, aerobic capacity, and daily functioning without increasing adverse effects in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA)? Dynamic exercise was defined as exercise of sufficient intensity to improve muscle strength and aerobic capacity.

Data sources

English, Dutch, French, or German language trials were identified using Medline (1964–97), Embase/Excerpta Medica (1974 to October 1996), SCISEARCH (1974 to October 1996), and Russmed Articles (1988 to October 1996) with the terms rheumatoid arthritis, exercise therapy, motion therapy, physical education and training, and gymnast: (with various endings). Bibliographies were checked and authors were contacted.

Study selection

Randomised controlled trials were selected if they compared dynamic exercise therapy with another form of exercise therapy or a non-exercising control group; participants had confirmed RA using the …

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  • Source of funding: no external funding.

  • For correspondence: Dr C H M van den Ende, Netherlands Institute of Primary Care, P O Box 1568, 3500 bn Utrecht, the Netherlands. Fax +31 30 272 9729.