Table 4

Subgroup analysis for the effect size on pain at post treatment

Outcome title

Number of study arms

Number of patients on AE

Effect sizea

Test for overall effect, P value

Heterogeneity, I2; τ2 (%)


Type of exercise

Land-based

22

463

-0.29 (-0.46,-0.13)

0.0005

27; 0.03

Water-based

3

61

-0.67 (-1.04,-0.29)

0.0005

0; 0

Mixed

4

43

-0.03 (-0.45,0.39)

0.89

0; 0

Type of exercise

AE only

12

273

-0.35 (-0.61,-0.09)

0.0008

48; 0.09

AE combined with other exercise

17

294

-0.28 (-0.45,-0.15)

0.001

0; 0

Duration of study

<7 weeks

2

32

-1.16 (-1.86,-0.48)

0.001

36; 0.09

7 to 12 weeks

13

194

-0.24 (-0.50,-0.02)

0.03

16; 0.02

>12 weeks

12

338

-0.24 (-0.40,-0.08)

0.004

0; 0

Frequency of training/week

1 time/week

2

37

-0.07 (-0.54,03.9)

0.48

Not applicable

2 times/week

5

127

-0.69 (-0.95,-0.27)

0.0004

35; 0.06

3 times/week

16

241

-0.35 (-0.62,-0.09)

0.009

48; 0.10

>3 times/week

4

142

-0.13 (-0.38, 0.13)

0.33

2; 0

Total duration aerobic exerciseb

<1,000 minutes

10

175

-0.47 (-0.86,-0.08)

0.02

62; 0.19

1,000 to 2,000 minutes

9

175

-0.36 (-0.59,-0.13)

0.002

0; 0

>2,000 minutes

8

217

-0.15 (-0.34, 0.05)

0.15

0; 0

Intensity of AEc

<50% maxHR

1

37

-0.09 (-0.54, 0.36)

Not applicable

Not applicable

Left up to patient

2

79

-0.42 (-0.77, -0.07)

0.02

0; 0

> 50% maxHR

21

367

-0.26 (-0.42,-0.11)

0.0007

0; 0

Type of control group

Attention placebo

7

229

-0.27 (-0.62, 0.07)

0.12

67; 0.12

Therapy as usual

10

147

-0.47 (-0.71,-0.24)

<0.0001

0; 0

Active therapy

10

191

-0.27 (-0.49,-0.06)

0.01

0; 0


AE, aerobic exercise; maxHR, maximum of age-adjusted maximum heart rate. aStandardised mean difference (95% confidence interval). bIf no precise duration of AE was given, 50% of the total exercise time was assumed for aerobic exercise. cStudies that did not report the intensity of training were excluded from analysis.

Häuser et al. Arthritis Research & Therapy 2010 12:R79   doi:10.1186/ar3002

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