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Revista chilena de pediatría

versión impresa ISSN 0370-4106


PEREZ RAMIREZ, Natalia; NAHUELHUAL CARES, Paula  y  SAN MARTIN PENAILILLO, Pamela. Effectiveness of Watsu therapy in patients with juvenile idiopathic arthritis. A parallel, randomized, controlled and single-blind clinical trial. Rev. chil. pediatr. [online]. 2019, vol.90, n.3, pp.283-292. ISSN 0370-4106.


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 propo sed.


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 mi nutes once a week.


Watsu therapy showed statistically significant improvements in physical functioning-HRQoL (p = 0.041), disability index (p = 0.015), distress index (p = 0.015), and functio nal health status-CHAQ (p = 0.013) after treatment compared to conventional hydrotherapy.

Con clusions:

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.

Palabras clave : Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis; Autoimmune Diseases; Rehabilitation; Hydrotherapy; Watsu.

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