Objectives: To investigate the maintenance of physical activity 12 months after two 1-year Internet-based physical activity interventions in patients with RA.
Methods: This follow-up study was a randomized comparison of an Internet-based individualized training (IT) and a general training (GT) programme in sedentary RA patients. Outcome measures included physical activity (meeting public health recommendations for moderate physical activity, i.e. 30 min for at least 5 days/week; or vigorous physical activity, i.e. 20 min for at least 3 days/week), functional ability and quality of life (QoL).
Results: Of the 152 RA patients who completed the initial study, 110 (72%) were available at follow-up. At 24 months, the proportions of patients meeting public health recommendations for moderate intensity physical activity were significantly higher compared with baseline in both the IT and GT groups (19 and 24%, respectively, P < 0.05), whereas the proportions of patients meeting the recommendation for vigorous activity was only significantly higher compared with baseline in the IT group (P < 0.05) but not in the GT group. There were no differences between the IT and GT groups concerning proportions of patients meeting moderate or vigorous physical activity recommendations at 24 months. Apart from a significantly higher RAQoL score in the IT group at 24 months compared with baseline, there were no significant differences within or between the programmes regarding functional ability or QoL.
Conclusion: In RA patients, the effectiveness of both an individualized and a general 1-year Internet-based physical activity programme is sustained with respect to moderate intensity physical activity up to 12 months after the interventions.