Objective: To examine the beneficial effect of climatic therapy at the Tiberias Hot Springs on patients with inflammatory arthritis.
Methods: Patients from Sweden with inflammatory arthritis underwent climatic therapy for 4 weeks at the Tiberias Hot Springs in Israel. Patients were examined at the beginning and end of the therapy and were evaluated as responders according to internationally validated criteria.
Results: One hundred-thirty-six patients were evaluated, 83 with a clinical course of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and 53 with ankylosing spondylitis (AS). Forty-seven (57%) of the RA patients and 32 (60%) of the AS patients were considered responders. Shorter disease duration and more active disease were associated with a greater response in RA, while in AS males responded more often than females.
Conclusion: Most patients benefited significantly from climatic therapy. Long-term follow-up is necessary to see whether improvement is sustained and if work ability and hospitalizations are also improved.