Background: Evidence suggests people with axial spondyloarthritis (axial SpA) should exercise up to five times per week but lack of time, symptoms, cost and distance are barriers to regular exercise in axial SpA. Personalised exercise programmes delivered via the internet might support people with axial SpA to reach these exercise targets. The aim of this study is to investigate the effect of, and adherence to, a 12 month personalised web-based physiotherapy programme for people with axial SpA.
Methods: Fifty people with axial SpA will be recruited to this prospective, interventional cohort study. Each participant will be assessed by a physiotherapist and an individualised exercise programme set up on www.webbasedphysio.com . Participants will be asked to complete their programme five times per week for 12 months. With the exception of adherence, data will be collected at baseline, 6 and 12 months.
Discussion: The primary outcome measure is adherence to the exercise programme over each four week cycle (20 sessions maximum per cycle) and over the 12 months. Secondary measures include function (BASFI), disease activity (BASDAI), work impairment (WPAI:SpA), quality of life (ASQoL, EQ5D), attitude to exercise (EMI-2, EAQ), spinal mobility (BASMI), physical activity and the six minute walk test. Participants will also be interviewed to explore their adherence, or otherwise, to the intervention. This study will determine the adherence and key clinical outcomes of a targeted web-based physiotherapy programme for axial SpA. This data will inform clinical practice and the development and implementation of similar programmes.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT02666313 , 20th January 2016.
Keywords: Adherence; Axial Spondyloarthritis; Exercise; Internet; Physiotherapy.