This annotated bibliography is based upon three journal articles, all of which address the question, is hydrotherapy as effective as land based exercise for lower limb conditions? Hydrotherapy, water based exercise performed in a heated pool and will be analysed to determine whether it is an appropriate and beneficial type of physical therapy.
Once the topic of hydrotherapy was of interest, keywords such as "effectiveness of hydrotherapy" and "benefits of hydrotherapy for lower limbs" were used in search engines such as Google Scholar and SciVerse. Once articles appeared to be of relevance to the guiding question, the abstracts of each of these articles were read and only those that were easily understood, were interesting and matched closely to the guiding question were selected to be used in the bibliography. After sorting approximately 5 articles that were of relevance to the guiding question, they were then searched for in the VU Library so their full text could be read, as there was only an abstract available when searching through Google Scholar and SciVerse. After reading the 5 articles in full the decision was made on three by how relevant they were to the guiding question and having slight similarities to each other also helped in the decision making process.
The three articles that make up the annotated bibliography each compare hydrotherapy to land based exercise for patients suffering from a certain lower limb condition. The first article compares the two types of therapies for patients with osteoarthritis and whether their strength and physical function will be improved by which type of therapy. The second compares hydrotherapy to land based exercise for patients who have undergone a total knee replacement where as the final article bases its investigation on whether water therapy can be as effective as land based exercise for patients who have osteoarthritis in the knee. Each article used a different type of study design.
Foley, A, Halbert, J, Hewitt, T, Crotty, M, 2003. Does hydrotherapy improve strength and physical function in patients with osteoarthritis—a randomised controlled trial comparing a gym based and a hydrotherapy based strengthening programme. EULAR Journal, 62, 1162-1167.
The aim of this article was to compare the effects of a hydrotherapy resistance exercise program with a gym based resistance exercise program focusing on strength and function in the treatment of osteoarthritis.
It consisted of participants who were randomised into one of three groups: hydrotherapy (n = 35), gym (n = 35), or control (n = 35). There were 105 participants, 52 (49.5%) were women and 53 males. Having such an even number of both men and women allowed the study to be evenly distributed leaving little judgement of being one gender dominated which may effect the study's results. The mean (SD) age of the sample was 70.9 years. Originally it was decided to have only 22 subjects in each group as a sample size of 66 was required however, the sample size calculation was based on the assumption of an effect size of 1.0 with a level of 0.05 and 90% power. Therefore, to allow for drop outs and injuries, this sample was increased to 35 people in each group. This proved to be beneficial to the study as there were several subjects that discontinued with the study. Being prepared with a higher sample size to allow for subjects failing to attend would leave the study with very few subjects to test, therefore increasing the numbers to more than what was needed prepared any unsuspecting drop outs if they occurred.
The warm up in the land based exercise group involved about four minutes of stationary cycling. The strengthening exercises included seated bench press, hip adduction and abduction, knee extension, and double leg press. It can be suggested that...