Cold Water Immersion Directly and Mediated by Alleviated Pain to Promote Quality of Life in Indonesian with Gout Arthritis: A Community-based Randomized Controlled Trial

Biol Res Nurs. 2022 Apr;24(2):245-258. doi: 10.1177/10998004211063547. Epub 2022 Jan 12.


Background: Gout arthritis is an autoinflammatory arthritis that generates chronic long-term pain. Pain impacts physical activities, joint mobility, stress, anxiety, depression, and quality of life. Cold-water immersion therapy reduces inflammation and pain associated with gout arthritis. However, cold-water immersion therapy has not been conducted among people worldwide with gout arthritis. Objective: To investigate the cold-water immersion intervention on pain, joint mobility, physical activity, stress, anxiety, depression, and quality of life among acute gout patients. Methods: A community-based randomized control trial design with two parallel-intervention groups: a cold-water immersion group (20-30°C 20 minutes/day for 4 weeks) and a control group. In total, 76 eligible participants in Tomohon City, Indonesia, were recruited using a multi-stage sampling method and were randomly assigned using block randomization. A generalized estimating equation model was used to analyze the results (coef. β) and produce 95% confidence intervals (CIs). A path analysis was used to analyze mediating effects. Results: Significant pain alleviation (β = -2.06; -2.42), improved joint mobility (β = 1.20, 1.44), physical activity (β = 2.05, .59), stress (β = -1.25; -1.35), anxiety (β = -.62; -1.37), and quality of life (β = 5.34; 9.93) were detected after cold-water immersion at the second-week, and were maintained to the fourth-week time point, compared to pre-intervention and the control group. Depression (β = -1.80) had decreased by the fourth week compared to the pre-test and control group. Cold-water immersion directly mediated alleviation of pain (β = -.46, p ≤ .001) and to promote the quality of life (β = .16, p = .01). Conclusions: Cold-water immersion decreased pain, stress, anxiety, and depression, and increased joint mobility, physical activity, and quality of life. It mediated alleviation of pain to increase the quality of life.

Keywords: cold-water immersion; gout; pain; quality of life; randomized control trial.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Gout*
  • Humans
  • Immersion
  • Indonesia
  • Pain
  • Quality of Life*
  • Water


  • Water