Does hydrotherapy improve a patient’s sense of mental wellbeing to a greater extent than physiotherapy prescribed home exercise programs alone

Amy Carere, Michael Warburton, Rob Marc Orr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Background and purpose. To determine if hydrotherapy
could improve the mental well-being of individuals with
chronic conditions.
Subjects. Ten participants (mean age = 70 ± 8.85 years)
with chronic musculoskeletal conditions participated in
this pilot study.
Methods. Using a within-subjects randomized crossover
controlled trial participants were randomly allocated to either
Group 1 (G1) or Group 2 (G2) participating in a hydrotherapy
intervention from either Weeks 1 to 4 or Weeks 5 to
8 in addition to their current physiotherapy treatments and
prescribed land based home exercise programs. Outcome
measures were the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-being
Scale (WEMWBS) and Short Form 36 (SF-36) questionnaires
administered at Weeks 1, 4 and 8.
Results. Significant improvements in the WEMWBS
scores, but not SF-36, were observed following the hydrotherapy
intervention. Positive change in the SF-36 physical
component score following the intervention approached
Discussion and conclusion. Hydrotherapy may enhance
the mental well-being and physical health of individuals
with chronic musculoskeletal conditions, however this finding
was not consistent across measures.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2-11
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Aquatic Physical Therapy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017


Cite this