Effectiveness of sensorimotor training in patients with rheumatoid arthritis: a randomized controlled trial

Rheumatol Int. 2013 Sep;33(9):2269-75. doi: 10.1007/s00296-013-2706-3. Epub 2013 Mar 3.


The objective of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a sensorimotor training in patients with rheumatoid arthritis on the improvement of functional skills and quality of life, a double-blinded, prospective, randomized controlled trial. One hundred two participants with rheumatoid arthritis were selected. After the baseline evaluation, the participants were randomized to two different groups: sensorimotor group (2 sessions per week, 30-50 min each session, besides continuing taking the same drugs as the control group) and control group (control group was only submitted to the clinical drug treatment with Methotrexate, Leflunomide and/or Prednisone (5 mg), being then evaluated 4 months later). Functional capacity [Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ) and Timed Up & Go Test (TU>)], Balance and Gait (Berg Balance Scale (BBS) and Tinetti Test) and Quality of Life (Short Form Health Survey-SF-36). The study had been concluded with ninety-one participants, and a statistically significant improvement was found in all variables assessed: HAQ (P < .01), TU> (P < .01), BBS (P < .01), Tinetti Test (P < .01) and improvement in the subscales of SF-36 (P < .01) in the sensorimotor group in comparison with the baseline evaluation and control group. No significant difference was found related to the pre- and post-evaluation in the control group. Therefore, the sensorimotor training is effective in the improvement of the functional capacity and quality of life of patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / physiopathology
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / psychology
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / therapy*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Physical Therapy Modalities*
  • Postural Balance
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality of Life