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Joint Health, Functional Ability and
Physical Activity in Haemophilia
Gewrichtsstatus, Functionele Mogelijkheden en Fysieke Activiteit
bij Patiënten met Hemofilie
door
Willem Gerardus Groen
Joint Health, Functional Ability and Physical Activity in Haemophilia
Thesis, Utrecht University, The Netherlands
ISBN-978-90-393-5688-3
© 2011, Wim Groen
No part of this thesis may be reproduced, stored or transmitted in any way or by any
means, without prior permission of the author.
The studies presented in this thesis were financially supported by a grant from Pfizer.
The priniting of this thesis was financially supported by:
Divisie Kinderen (UMC Utrecht), Pfizer BV, CSL Behring BV, Novo Nordisk BV,
Lode BV and Stichting Sanquin Bloedvoorziening.
Printed by: Uitgevery Box Press, Oisterwijk
Cover design: Erik de Hart
Lay-out: Wim Groen
Joint Health, Functional Ability and
Physical Activity in Haemophilia
Gewrichtsstatus, Functionele Mogelijkheden en Fysieke Activiteit
bij Patiënten met Hemofilie
(met een samenvatting in het Nederlands)
Proefschrift
ter verkrijging van de graad van doctor aan de Universiteit Utrecht
op gezag van de rector magnificus, prof.dr. G.J. van der Zwaan,
ingevolge het besluit van het college voor promoties
in het openbaar te verdedigen op
donderdag 15 december 2011 des middags te 2.30 uur
door
Willem Gerardus Groen
geboren op 17 november 1981 te Hoorn
Promotoren:
Prof.dr. P.J.M. Helders
Prof.dr. D.H. Biesma
Co-promotoren:
Dr. J. van der Net
Dr. K. Fischer
Voor oma
Contents
Chapter 1 Introduction 9
Chapter 2 Joint health and functional ability in children with 19
haemophilia who receive intensive replacement therapy
Chapter 3 Development and preliminary testing of a paediatric 39
version of the Haemophilia Activities List (PedHAL)
Chapter 4 Functional Limitations in Romanian children with 59
haemophilia: further testing of psychometric properties
of the Paediatric Haemophilia Activities List
Chapter 5 Habitual physical activity in Dutch children and 85
Adolescents with haemophilia
Chapter 6 Exercise interventions in patients with haemophilia: 103
a systematic review
Chapter 7 Protected by nature? Effects of strenuous physical exercise 139
on FVIII activity in moderate and mild haemophilia
A patients: a pilot study
Chapter 8 Summary & General Discussion 153
Samenvatting (Dutch summary) 171
Dankwoord (Acknowledgements) 175
Curriculum Vitae 181
List of publications 183
Chapter 1
Introduction
10
Haemophilia
Haemophilia is an X-linked inherited recessive bleeding disorder that is
characterized by a deficiency of clotting factor VIII (classic haemophilia, or
haemophilia A) or IX (haemophilia B). Haemophilia has a frequency of 1 in 5.000
male births, whereas haemophilia B has a frequency of 1 in 30.000 male births [1].
The level of clotting factor grades the severity of the disease. Patients with severe
haemophilia have <1% clotting factor activity, moderate affected patients 1-5%
and mild patients 6-40% [2]. Lower levels of clotting factor, especially in the
severe patients result in spontaneous haemorrhages in muscles and joints, but may
affect other organs as well. Especially repetitive haemorrhages in joints ultimately
result in crippling haemophilic arthropathy [3]. Patients with moderate haemophilia
may bleed into muscles and joints after minor injuries and mild haemophilia do not
bleed spontaneously, but only after medical surgery, dental extractions, or
accidents [2].
With the development of cryoprecipitate in 1965 [4], correction of the
clotting factor deficit became possible. In the 1980s plasma derived clotting factor
concentrates have become available, and recombinant concentrates in the 1990s.
Although these new techniques have minimised the risk of blood-transmitted
infections such as Hepatitis C and HIV, the cost of concentrates has risen
enormously. This has increased the need for careful assessment of treatment
results. At first haemophilia was treated with intravenous administration of the
missing clotting factor at the occurrence of bleeding only. In the 1960s, professor
Inga Marie Nilsson [5] from Sweden started regular prophylactic replacement
therapy to prevent bleeding, followed by Professor Van Creveld in the early 1970s
[6] and others throughout Europe. In developed countries, early prophylactic
treatment has become the standard of care for patients with severe haemophilia.
This results in a significant reduction of the development of secondary arthropathy.
Decades of clinical experience and numerous retrospective and, recently,
prospective studies clearly demonstrate that prophylactic treatment is superior to
on-demand treatment, regardless whether the outcome is the number of joint- or
life-threatening bleeds, arthropathy evaluated by X-ray or MRI, or quality of life
[7-9].
Although the treatment of haemophilia has improved dramatically,
especially with the introduction of prophylaxis, still many patients around the
world are very much affected by the disease. One reason for this is that a large
majority (approximately 80%) of the patients live in developing countries where
11
financial constraints limit the use of factor concentrates [10]. Another reason is the
formation of inhibitory antibodies (inhibitors) to factor concentrates in about 30%
of young patients with haemophilia A and in 1-6% of patients with haemophilia B
[11]. When inhibitors are present, the treatment is less effective and patients may
be more affected by haemophilia in terms of joint status and quality of life [12].
Thus, despite improved treatment strategies, still many patients with haemophilia
experience the serious consequences of this disease.
Evaluation of functional health status in haemophilia
Evaluation of joint health in haemophilia has long been performed by using a
system based on consensus and developed by the World Federation of Haemophilia
(WFH) in the early 1980s [13]. The WFH scoring system assesses aspects of joint
health including bleeding frequency, pain, and physical and radiological evaluation
(Pettersson score) [13]. This WFH evaluation is still used to assess individual
patients and for research purposes, both in developed [14,15] and developing
countries [16]. The WFH system, however, has two main shortcomings: lack of
psychometric properties (reliability, validity and sensitivity to change have never
been established) and its focus on pathology (bleeding frequency) and on body
functions and structures (radiological and physical evaluation, and pain). The WFH
evaluation does not assess activities, participation or contextual factors. Body
functions and structures reflect the function of organs and organ systems; they do
not necessarily predict the perception of a person’s functioning in daily life [17,18].
Healthcare workers are not just dealing with pathologies and their implications for
the body, but with the impact of these conditions on the person. This is particularly
the case with a disabling condition such as haemophilia [19].
The introduction of the International Classification of Functioning and
disability (ICF; Figure 1) by the World Health Organization has enabled a more
comprehensive evaluation of the functional health status. The model includes the
aspects of body functions and structures, activities and participation as well as
environmental and personal factors [20]. During the past decade the ICF model has
been adopted widely and has become the preferred model for describing functional
health status in patients [21]. Its adoption in haemophilia has been urged by De
Kleijn et al. [19] and has led to the development of several haemophilia specific
instruments for different levels/categories of the ICF. For example, on the level of
body functions and structures new tools have been developed to detect early
changes in joint structure such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging (e.g. [22,23]) and
the Haemophilia Joint Health Score (HJHS; [24,25]). On the level of activities both
12
a performance based (Functional Independence Score in Haemophilia; FISH,
[26,27]) and a self-reported outcome measure (Haemophilia Activities List; HAL;
[28,29]) have been developed. Both self-report and performance based measures
have showed to be necessary because of a low to moderate correlation between
these two and the need to report the efficiency and efficacy of physical activity
interventions [30,31]. For quality of life, as a summary measure, the diseasespecific Hemofilia-QoL [32] was developed for adults, and for children the
CHOKLAT and the Haemo-QoL [33,34]. A self-reported measure for functional
ability or activity level (according to the ICF) in children is lacking.
Figure 1: Interactions between the components of the ICF
Physical activity and haemophilia
An active lifestyle has numerous health benefits, especially for primary and
secondary prevention of chronic diseases (e.g., cardiovascular disease, diabetes,
cancer, hypertension, obesity, depression and osteoporosis) and premature death
[35]. For patients with haemophilia physical activity even may have additional
benefits for musculoskeletal health including an increase in range of motion of the
joints [36], reduction of the number of joint bleeds [37] and improvement of
muscle strength and proprioception [38]. Especially in areas where the supply of
factor concentrates is inadequate exercise interventions are generally considered
important, potentially effective and inexpensive options to treat patients with
haemophilia [39-42]. The need for a physical active lifestyle in patients with
13
haemophilia is further highlighted by the finding that bone mineral density in
children with severe haemophilia (FVIII/IX < 1%) is lower than in normal subjects
[43] and physical activity has shown to counteract this in healthy subjects [35].
Besides physical benefits, a physically active lifestyle may also contribute to
mental health [44]. We underline the importance of psychosocial aspects in patients
with haemophilia, but to be able to have a more focussed approach this thesis
mainly deals with aspects of physical functioning.
Currently a positive trend is observed in which children with haemophilia
are increasingly encouraged to participate in physical activities and sports [45,46].
For example a survey in Dutch adults with haemophilia showed that of those that
are on prophylactic treatment a higher proportion than in the general population
was active in swimming and cycling [47]. In addition, it was noted that the attitude
towards sports among patients with haemophilia has improved, and that the range
of practiced sports has increased, most likely due to improved medical treatment
[45]. Despite the increased participation in sports, aerobic fitness of children with
haemophilia is still reduced compared to healthy peers [48], although it has greatly
improved when compared with the study of Koch et al. [49] that dates from 1986.
A recent study shows that engaging in vigorous activity increased the
number of bleeds of a trauma, while it did not increase the total number of bleeds
[50]. More data are needed to determine the level of risk that is imposed on
children engaging in vigorous physical activity such as sports. Also the protective
effects of exercise are becoming clearer. For example, exercise could increase
muscles strength, which consequently could protect patients from bleeding
episodes [37]. Furthermore acute bouts of exercise have shown to increase levels of
clotting factor in moderately affected patients [51]. Although promising, these last
two studies included small samples and warrant further research.
Aims and outline of this thesis
It is clear that in haemophilia outcome measurement has long been strongly
focused on the level of body functions and structures and that functional outcome
and physical activity have been underrepresented. This results in little knowledge
about the functional consequences that haemophilia has in patients, both with or
without prophylaxis. This may be partly explained by a lack of disease specific
outcome measures that enable quantification of the limitation with regard to
performing functional activities.
The historic cautious attitude of health providers with regard to physical
activity may have led to a lack of knowledge in this area. With modern treatment
14
participation rate and levels of physical activity are changing and may positively
affect joint health and physical fitness; however it is not clear to what extent.
Furthermore, physical activity is increasingly advocated for haemophilic patients
both in developed and developing countries without attempts have been made to
systematically review and appraise the available literature on the effects of this
paradigm change. Also the acute effects of exercise on clotting factor levels in
patients with haemophilia are unclear.
Therefore, the aims of this thesis are:
To study the relationship between joint health and functional ability in
patients on intensive factor replacement therapy (chapter 2).
To develop and test an instrument to assess functional health status in
children with haemophilia (chapters 3&4).
To quantify habitual physical activity, including type and intensity, in
children and adolescents with haemophilia and its relationship with joint
health and physical fitness (chapter 5).
To study the current state of knowledge regarding exercise interventions in
patients with haemophilia (chapter 6).
To study the acute effects of vigorous physical activity on clotting factor
levels in patients with mild and moderate haemophilia A (chapter 7).
15
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Chapter 2
Joint health and functional ability
in children with haemophilia who
receive intensive replacement
therapy
Groen, W.G.
Van der Net, J.
Bos, K.
Abad, A.
Bergstrom, B-M.
Blanchette, V. S.
Feldman, B. M.
Funk, S.
Helders, P.J.M.
Hilliard, P.
Manco-Johnson, M.
Petrini, P.
Zourikian, N.
Fischer, K.
Haemophilia. 2011 Sep;17(5):783-790
20
SUMMARY
Joint physical examination is an important outcome in haemophilia; however its
relationship with functional ability is not well established in children with intensive
replacement therapy.
Boys aged 4-16 years were recruited from two European and three North
American treatment centres. Joint physical structure and function was measured
with the Haemophilia Joint Health Score (HJHS) while functional ability was
measured with the revised Childhood Health Assessment Questionnaire
(CHAQ38). Two haemophilia-specific domains were created by selecting items of
the CHAQ38 that cover haemophilia-specific problems. Associations between
CHAQ, HJHS, cumulative number of haemarthroses and age were assessed.
226 subjects – mean 10.8 years old (SD 3.8) – participated; the majority
(68%) had severe haemophilia. Most severe patients (91%) were on prophylactic
treatment. Lifetime number of haemarthroses (median=5; IQR=1-12) and total
HJHS scores (median=5; IQR=1-12) correlated strongly (rho=0.51). Total HJHS
scores did not correlate with age and only weakly (rho=-0.19) with functional
ability scores (median=0; IQR=-0.06-0). Overall, haemarthroses were reported
most frequently in the ankles. Detailed analysis of ankle joint health scores
revealed moderate associations (rho=0.3-0.5) of strength, gait and atrophy with
lower extremity tasks (e.g. stair climbing).
In this population, HJHS scores summating 6 joints did not perform as well
as individual joint scores, however certain elements of ankle impairment,
specifically muscle strength, atrophy and gait associated significantly with
functional loss in lower extremity activities. Mild abnormalities in ankle
assessment by HJHS may lead to functional loss. Therefore, ankle joints may
warrant special attention in the follow up of these children.
21
INTRODUCTION
Currently there is growing interest in objective measurement of health outcome in
haemophilia patients. To address this need, outcome measures to measure all levels
of the International Classification of Function, Disability and Health (ICF) model
of the World Health Organization (WHO) are being constructed. These outcome
measures include, among others, the Haemophilia Joint Health Score (HJHS) for
the level of body functions and structures [1] and the (Paediatric) Haemophilia
Activities List for the level of activities [2-4]. In addition, the Canadian
Haemophilia Outcomes-Kids’ Life Assessment Tool (CHO-KLAT) and the
Haemo-Qol have been developed to measure health-related Quality of life [5,6] .
The relationship between the different ICF domains is an interesting and
relevant area of research. Specifically, it is unknown to what extent changes in
joint health assessed by a physical examination result in patient relevant changes:
i.e. functional limitations and subsequent decrements in social participation and
quality of life. Some studies have shown the impact of joint arthropathy on
functional ability in adults [7] and children treated on demand [8]; however no
extensive research has been performed in a large group of children and teenagers
on prophylactic treatment.
In a recent study of a new physical joint examination tool, the Haemophilia
Joint Health Score (HJHS), total scores of joint health , comprising the scores of
six index joints, including both ankles, knees and elbows, showed no association
with a gross measure of functional ability as scored on the revised Childhood
Health Assessment Questionnaire (CHAQ) [9]. One possible reason for this could
be that there are numerous items on the CHAQ not relevant to the general
haemophilia population, especially those who are on prophylactic treatment.
Another reason could be that including scores of all joints into the calculation of a
score could have a diluting effect by masking important findings of more severely
affected individual joints. This is also true for certain items within a joint score,
such as crepitus that presumably has small impact on function.
Therefore, we performed an analysis of the relationship between
physical/structural joint health (HJHS), life-time number of haemarthroses and
functional ability (CHAQ) at the level of the individual joint in comparison to
global joint scores. Our main hypothesis was that a higher lifetime number of
haemarthroses would lead to worse joint health scores, and consequently would be
accompanied by limitations in functional ability on haemophilia-relevant tasks,
particularly for lower extremity joints (knees and ankles).
22
MATERIALS AND METHODS
This study is based on data that was collected for the validation study of the
Haemophilia Joint Health Score [9]. Data were collected in 2006 and 2007 from
children attending five haemophilia treatment centres in Europe (Stockholm, and
Utrecht), United States (Denver) and Canada (Toronto, Montréal) in a collaborative
effort of the International Prophylaxis Study Group (IPSG) Physiotherapy Expert
Working Group. The validation study was approved by the research ethics boards
at all participating centres with written informed consent from all participants or
their parents.
Subjects
Boys, aged 4 to 16 years, with all severities of haemophilia A or B, and on all types
of treatment (i.e. prophylaxis or on-demand), were enrolled in this study. Primary
and secondary prophylaxis, consensus definitions were followed to define the types
of treatment used [10]. Excluded were those with an acute bleed within two weeks
prior to testing, those with an uncontrolled high titre inhibitor where physical joint
assessment would convey an unjustified risk of provoking bleeding, and those with
significant concomitant disease affecting joint status and function.
Estimated lifetime number of haemarthroses
Estimations of lifetime number of haemarthroses into each ankle, knee and elbow
joint were provided by parents and patients by review of infusion logs, as well as
by recall.
Joint physical examination: The Haemophilia Joint Health Score
A physical examination of the six index joints (elbows, knees and ankles) was
quantified by the Haemophilia Joint Health Score (HJHS; version 1.0) developed
by the IPSG [11]. The HJHS was designed as a more sensitive version of the
orthopaedic joint score by Gilbert [12]. It consists of eleven items for each of six
joints (swelling, swelling duration, muscle atrophy, axial alignment, crepitus,
flexion loss, extension loss, instability, pain, strength and gait) and global gait. The
scores for each of the six joints are summed and, together with a score for global
gait, the resulting score ranges from 0 to 148 with a score of zero representing best
possible joint health. All items are scored using an ordinal categorical scale.
Examinations as well as scoring were performed by experienced paediatric
physiotherapists trained in using the HJHS.
23
Functional ability: revised Childhood Health Assessment Questionnaire
(CHAQ)
Functional ability was measured with the revised CHAQ [13]. The questionnaire
was originally designed for children with juvenile arthritis [14] but has also been
applied to other musculoskeletal conditions such as haemophilia [15]. The revised
CHAQ consists of 38 questions (CHAQ38) describing the ability to perform
activities of daily living in eight domains that are likely to be affected by joint
limitations (e.g. dressing and grooming and performing activities). The score of the
CHAQ38 ranges from -2 to 2 asking if each activity in question can be performed
‘much worse’ (-2), ‘a little worse’ (-1), ‘the same’ (0), ‘a little better’ (1), ‘much
better’ (2) and ‘not applicable’ in the past week when compared to healthy peers
[13]. Because we were only interested in functional limitations, and to prevent
positive scores from masking limitations perceived for other items, we recoded
positive scores to zero to focus only on functional limitations. This results in a
possible scoring range between -2 to 0. The total score on the CHAQ38 is the mean
score of all items [13].
As the CHAQ was not developed specifically for haemophilia patients, a
total score (including e.g. fine motor abilities of the hands) tends to underestimate
the severity of haemophilia patients who primarily suffer from elbow, knee and
ankle arthropathy. We therefore created two haemophilia specific domains. Items
were first selected on face validity (i.e. ‘haemophilia appropriate’, involving
impact on functional ability resulting from joint impairment in elbows, knees and
ankle joints). This was completed by authors Van der Net, Groen and Fischer.
Subsequently, the scale was reviewed to determine if the selected items indeed had
a high percentage of negative scores compared to items that are non-specific for
haemophilia.
Item selection for CHAQ haemophilia domains
Two haemophilia-specific domains of the CHAQ38 were made: “lower extremities”
and “school-/ extracurricular activities”. The items of the CHAQ haemophilia
domains are listed in Table 1. For the domain “lower extremities” we selected six
items of the original CHAQ38. For the domain “school and extracurricular
activities” the entire domain of the CHAQ38 added by Lam et al. [13] was selected.
Items 31 (“do climbing activities”), 35 (“keep my balance while playing rough
games”), and 37 (“run in a race”) were selected for both domains.
24
Table 1. Item content of two haemophilia specific domains constructed based on a
selection from all items of the CHAQ38
Lower extremities School-/extracurricular activities
11. climb up five steps
28. ride bike or tricycle
30. run and play
31. do climbing activities
35. keep my balance while
playing rough games
37. run in a race
31. do climbing activities
32. play team sports with others in my class
33. play some sports by myself or with a few friends
34. play team sports in competitive leagues
35. keep my balance while playing rough games
36. do activities I usually enjoy for a long time
without getting tired out
37. run in a race
38. work carefully with my hands
Legend: the numbers before each item refer to the item number of the original CHAQ38.
Statistical analysis
Analyses were performed with SPSS version 15.0 for Windows. Descriptive
variables are shown as means and standard deviation (for normally distributed
data) or as medians, interquartile ranges (IQR; P25-P75) and ranges for data with
skewed distributions. CHAQ and HJHS scores were compared by nonparametric
tests (Wilcoxon signed rank test) because of skewed distributions. Spearman’s
correlations were calculated. A correlation of 0.1-0.3 was considered weak, 0.3 –
0.5 moderate and 0.5 -0.7 large [16]. P-values < 0.05 were considered significant.
25
RESULTS
Subjects
Two-hundred twenty-six boys with haemophilia A or B participated in the study.
Their mean age was 10.8 years (range 4-16). Most severe patients were on
prophylactic treatment (91%) and 24% had a history of inhibitors. Table 2 shows
the demographic characteristics of the study subjects.
Table 2. Demographic characteristics of the subjects
Severe Moderate Mild Total
Number 153 34 39 226
Mean age years (SD) 10.2 (3.9) 12.0 (3.4) 12.2 (3.0) 10.8 (3.8)
Haemophilia A 134 (88%) 25 (74%) 32 (82%) 191 (85%)
History of inhibitor (≥0.6
Bethesda Units) 37 (24%) 0 0 37 (16%)
Positive inhibitor at the
time of study participation 5 (3%) 0 0 5 (2%)
History of prophylaxis 142 (93%) 8 (24%) 1 (3%) 151 (67%)
Current treatment:
On-demand
Primary prophylaxis
Secondary prophylaxis
14 (9%)
83 (54%)
56 (37%)
26 (77%)
2 (6%)
6 (18%)
38 (97%)
0
1 (3%)
78 (35%)
85 (38%)
63 (28%)
SD, standard deviation or proportion
Descriptive statistics of haemarthroses, HJHS, and CHAQ scores
The median total self-reported lifetime number of haemarthroses (ankles, knees
and elbows together) was 5 (IQR=1-12, range 0-150). The total estimated
cumulative median number of haemarthroses in the ankles was highest at 2 (IQR=
0-6, range 0-120). Estimated cumulative median numbers of haemarthroses in
knees was 1 (IQR= 0-4, range 0-110), and in elbows the median number was 0
(IQR= 0-1, range 0-56). The difference in number of haemarthroses between
ankles, knees and elbows were statistically significant (p<0.01 for all).
The median total (global 6-joint) HJHS was 5 (IQR= 1-12, range 0-43).
The HJHS score for each joint pair was highest for the ankles at 2 (IQR= 0-6, range
0-23), followed by knees at 1 (IQR= 0-3, range 0-14) and elbows with a median
score of zero (IQR= 0-1, range 0-18) (p<0.01) (Figure 1). The proportions of joints
26
with zero scores on HJHS for ankles, knees and elbows were 29, 46 and 61%
respectively.
The median score of the CHAQ38 was zero (IQR -0.06 to 0). The CHAQ
haemophilia domains “lower extremities” (median 0; IQR -0.17 to 0) and “school/extracurricular activities” (median 0; IQR -0.14 to 0) were higher with a broader
scoring range which indicates that these haemophilia-specific domains were more
sensitive than the overall CHAQ38 score (p<0.01; Figure 2).
HJHS scores
Location
Elbows Knees Ankles Total
H
JH
S
s co re 0
10
20
30
40
50
Figure 1. HJHS total score and for the elbows, knees and ankles. The boxes contain all values from
the 25th to the 75th percentile (= interquartile range; IQR). The horizontal bar in the middle of the
boxes is the median. For the elbows the median is zero and falls together with the 25th percentile.
The whiskers represent the 5th and 95th percentile and dots represent outliers.
27
CHAQ scores
C
H
A
Q
s co re -2,0
-1,5
-1,0
-0,5
0,0
Ext
rac
urri
cula
r Ac
tivit
ies
CH
AQ 3
8
Low
er E
xtre
mit
ies
Sch
ool
and
CHAQ version
Figure 2. Box-plots of CHAQ score distribution on the two haemophilia specific versions and the
CHAQ38. A score of zero means best and -2 worst functional ability. The median score for all
CHAQ versions is zero. The boxes contain all values from the 25th to the 75th percentile (=
interquartile range; IQR). The whiskers in this figure represent the 95th percentile and dots
represent outliers.
Association between age, lifetime number of joint haemorrhages and physical
joint health (HJHS)
A relatively strong positive association was found between total estimated number
of lifetime joint haemorrhages and HJHS total score (rho= 0.51). No correlation
was found between age and HJHS total or joint specific scores. In these young
boys on intensive treatment, only a weak correlation was found between age and
total estimated joint haemorrhages (rho= 0.16). For joint specific scores only the
ankles correlated very weakly with age (rho= 0.13).
28
Relationships among age, lifetime number of joint haemorrhages and
functional ability (CHAQ)
The correlations between age, CHAQ38 or CHAQ haemophilia domains were weak
(rho <0.3, each). Weak correlations were also found between estimated
haemarthroses and CHAQ38 or haemophilia domains (rho ranging from 0-0.20,
each). Number of haemarthroses in the ankles and knees showed very weak
associations with CHAQ38 or haemophilia domains. Lifetime number of
haemarthroses in the elbows correlated weakly with CHAQ38 (rho= -0.29) and less
with the haemophilia domains lower extremities (rho= -0.20) and school/extracurricular activities (rho= -0.26).
Relationship between physical joint health (HJHS) and functional ability
(CHAQ)
The total HJHS score correlated weakly with the CHAQ38 score (rho= -0.19) and
even more weakly or not at all with the CHAQ haemophilia domains. Significant
associations between the HJHS and CHAQ were found only for the ankle joints
(Table 3). No associations with the CHAQ were found for the HJHS scores of
elbows and knees. Individual HJHS items on the ankle examination including
muscle strength, pain, atrophy and gait correlated consistently with the CHAQ38
and haemophilia domains. Muscle strength correlated moderately with the lower
extremity domain of the CHAQ (Table 3).
29
Table 3. Statistically significant associations for ankle Joint Health Scores (HJHS)
with the Childhood Health Assessment Questionnaire (CHAQ) (p<0.05).
Ankle CHAQ38
CHAQ lower
extremities
CHAQ school/extracurricular
activities
HJHS total -0.23 -0.20 -0.17
HJHS swelling -0.12
HJHS swelling duration
HJHS muscle atrophy -0.26 -0.17 -0.20
HJHS axial alignment
HJHS crepitus
HJHS flexion loss
HJHS extension loss -0.11
HJHS instability
HJHS pain -0.16 -0.14 -0.20
HJHS strength -0.26 -0.34 -0.27
HJHS gait -0.22 -0.29 -0.19
Interpretation: The values shown are spearman correlation coefficients.
The value shown in bold is a moderate correlation. Those that are not bold are weak
correlations. Blank cells indicate no significant correlation.
In Table 4 the results of the CHAQ haemophilia-specific domain “lower
extremities”, according to individual item is shown. Items 11 (climb up five steps),
31 (do climbing activities) and 37 (run in a race) showed moderate associations
with aspects of ankle joint health. All three Items correlated moderately with ankle
joint strength and items 11 and 31 with ankle joint gait. For atrophy and extension
loss of the ankles, consistent but weak correlations were found for all items of this
CHAQ domain.
30
Table 4. Associations HJHS domains for the ankles and CHAQ items for the lower
extremities domain (p<0.05).
Ankle Q11 Q28 Q30 Q31 Q35 Q37
HJHS total -0.26 -0.16 -0.13 -0.17 -0.19 -0.17
HJHS swelling -0.13 -0.14
HJHS swelling duration
HJHS muscle atrophy -0.27 -0.16 -0.17 -0.29 -0.18
HJHS axial alignment
HJHS crepitus -0.12
HJHS flexion loss
HJHS extension loss -0.26 -0.17 -0.12 -0.17 -0.16 -0.12
HJHS instability
HJHS pain -0.15 -0.11 -0.18
HJHS strength -0.39 -0.28 -0.28 -0.30 -0.22 -0.30
HJHS gait -0.34 -0.28 -0.19 -0.31 -0.15 -0.25
Interpretation: The values shown are spearman correlation coefficients. The values shown
in bold are moderate correlations. Those that are not bold are weak correlations. Blank cells
indicate no significant correlation. Q11, climb up five steps; Q28, ride bike or tricycle;
Q30, run and play; Q31, do climbing activities; Q35, keep my balance while playing rough
games; Q37, run in a race.
31
Table 5 shows the results for the domain “school-/extracurricular activities”, by
individual item. Items 31 (do climbing activities), 34 (play team sports in
competitive leagues) and 37 (run in a race) showed moderate associations with
individual items of the ankle examination. All items correlated moderately with
ankle joint strength. In addition, item 31 correlated with joint gait. Again, for
atrophy and extension loss of the ankles, consistent but weak correlations were
found for all items of this CHAQ domain (with the exception of item 38: “work
carefully with my hands”).
Table 5. Correlations of HJHS domains for the ankles and CHAQ items
for school-/extracurricular activities domain (p<0.05).
Ankle Q31 Q32 Q33 Q34 Q35 Q36 Q37 Q38*
HJHS total -0.17 -0.12 -0.24 -0.19 -0.21 -0.17
HJHS swelling -0.14 -0.13
HJHS swelling duration
HJHS muscle atrophy -0.17 -0.13 -0.11 -0.31 -0.29 -0.18 -0.18
HJHS axial alignment
HJHS crepitus -0.12
HJHS flexion loss
HJHS extension loss -0.17 -0.18 -0.12 -0.17 -0.16 -0.15 -0.12
HJHS instability
HJHS pain -0.23 -0.17 -0.18
HJHS strength -0.30 -0.24 -0.17 -0.36 -0.22 -0.26 -0.30
HJHS gait -0.31 -0.18 -0.15 -0.20 -0.15 -0.16 -0.25
Interpretation: The values shown are spearman correlation coefficients. The values shown in bold are
moderate correlations. Those that are not bold are weak correlations. *Blank cells indicate no
significant correlation. Q31, do climbing activities; Q32, play team sports with others in my class;
Q33, play some sports by myself or with a few friends; Q34, play team sports in competitive leagues;
Q35, keep my balance while playing rough games; Q36, do activities I usually enjoy for a long time
without getting tired out;Q37, run in a race; Q38, work carefully with my hands.
32
DISCUSSION
This cross-sectional study shows that the study population was relatively
unaffected by haemophilia as reflected by a history of only a few haemarthroses
and few abnormalities on the HJHS and CHAQ. Lifetime number of haemarthroses
correlated strongly with total HJHS scores, but total HJHS scores did not correlate
with age and only weakly with functional ability scores. Haemarthroses were
reported most frequently in the ankles. Detailed analysis of ankle joint health
scores revealed moderate associations of strength, gait and atrophy with lower
extremity tasks.
Despite the paucity of abnormalities determined in the study population,
the study determined that the ankles were most frequently affected with a median
cumulative number of haemarthroses of 2 (IQR= 0-6, range 0-120). Notable is that
even with this small number of ankle haemarthroses in young children, key
elements of the HJHS physical examination showed moderate correlations with
functional tasks. Specifically the HJHS domains of strength, muscle atrophy and
gait showed moderate correlation with the calculated CHAQ domains of ‘lower
extremity activities’ and ‘school and extra -curricular activities, including
ascending stairs, climbing activities, running in a race and participation in
competitive team sports. These results show an early limitation of activity and
social participation in children with haemophilia secondary to changes in joint
health. In addition, the data emphasize the vulnerability of the ankle to
haemophilic arthropathy, even in children on primary or secondary prophylaxis. It
is possible that the chronic heavy loading of the ankle will demand careful
strategies for surveillance and prevention beyond standard factor replacement
therapy.
The detection of early ankle dysfunction in the current study may relate to
the current method of testing for muscle strength around the ankle. For the HJHS
1.0, 20 heel raises against total body weight has to be lifted to obtain a “normal”
score, which is quite demanding compared to the conventional break-method of
muscle strength testing that is performed against a manual resistance of a tester
[20]. Maybe such a demanding test is required in these relatively unaffected
patients in order to detect mild impairment of the ankles. Future studies comparing
standard with enhanced testing methods for ankle strength are needed to further
inform this question.
The knees and elbows were less frequently affected by arthropathy in this
population. Lifetime number of total joint haemorrhages age and total (global 6joint) HJHS score had poor associations with functional ability (as measured by
33
CHAQ38 score) in this patient sample. The absence of association between joint
haemorrhages and functional ability may be a result of the large differences in
impact of joint haemorrhages. For example, haemorrhages can differ in factors
such as intra-articular blood volume, time lapsed before additional factor
replacement, individual (inflammatory) response to blood in the joint and so on.
Thus the joint damage that results from haemorrhages can vary greatly. The lack of
association between global 6-joint HJHS scores and functional ability could be a
result of the masking effect of the summation of individual joint scores,
Comparison of individual joint outcomes with global scores must be addressed in
future outcome studies of haemophilia prophylaxis.
The absence of associations between overall measures of joint health and
functional ability could be attributed to the healthy population (young patients,
majority on prophylaxis, low number of joint haemorrhages) and is further
amplified by the large number of items of the CHAQ that are not relevant to
patients with haemophilia. In addition, as correlations are dependent on the
distribution of the data, this study may be disadvantaged by the homogeneity of the
data and paucity of abnormalities. The modification of the CHAQ38 by defining
specific haemophilia-items associations increased sensitivity of the tool, especially
for the ankles and especially for those elements that are strongly related to function
such as muscle strength. All associations between structural joint health and
functional ability were in the direction we expected, that is, better joint health
coincided with better functional ability (negative correlations).
Comparison of findings with literature
Ninety-one percent of the young children with severe haemophilia were on
prophylaxis, the majority of which was primary prophylaxis. The median number
of haemarthroses into individual joints was very low. The study results including
minimal joint bleeding, minimal joint damage on physical assessment and minimal
disability confirm earlier reports attesting to the efficacy of prophylaxis to prevent
joint disease in young children with haemophilia [17-19]. Several studies have
reported that ankles were most frequently affected in patients with haemophilia
[21-23]. This study shows that even in patients with near optimal joint health,
ankles are relatively most affected and relate to lower functional ability in lower
extremity tasks. When we compare our results with the literature, it is clear that we
were less able to find relationships between joint physical or structural impairment
and functional ability. For example, Van Genderen et al. [7] found correlations of
0.69 between radiological (Petterson) score and functional activities (measured by
34
the HAL) in 34 adult patients (aged 45; SD 14). In another study, Gurcay et al. [8]
found a moderate correlation of 0.40 between clinical evaluation score (Gilbert
score; [12]) and functional ability measured by the Juvenile Arthritis Functional
Assessment Report for children (JAFAR-C) which is a similar measure to the
CHAQ in children with haemophilia who were not on prophylaxis therapy. They
also found a moderate correlation (r = 0.31) between radiological scores and
JAFAR-C. It has to be noted that the children included in the present study are
younger, on more aggressive replacement therapy, and with fewer historic
haemarthroses compared with subjects in any of the studies described in the cited
literature.
Limitations
This study has some limitations. Firstly, data were collected with the aim of
validation of the HJHS. The HJHS is intended to be sensitive to early joint
impairment. For this study, patients on intensive replacement therapy
predominated. This selection of patients most probably leads to an underestimation
of the relationship between joint impairment and functional ability in haemophilia.
However this analysis gives insight into early manifestations of functional loss in
such patients. Secondly, the CHAQ is a measure of functional ability that was not
designed specifically for haemophilia. We tried to tackle this by modifying it into
two versions that included only haemophilia-specific items. Despite this
modification some other important activities might not have been addressed. That
is why we emphasize the use of a specific activities list for children with
haemophilia in future studies. The paediatric Haemophilia Activities List
(PedHAL), which has recently been developed, may be a more appropriate
candidate [24]. The PedHAL however was not yet available at the time of this
study. Thirdly, the self-reported lifetime number of haemarthroses is a relatively
rough measure and may not be reliable. The findings based on this measure should
therefore be treated with some caution. We are aware that the results of this study
are mainly valid for patients with relatively healthy joint status such as patients on
primary prophylaxis.
Clinical implications
From this study we conclude that, in our cohort, subtle changes in joint structure
and function are primarily found first in the ankle. Therefore there should be an
extra focus on ankle joints in the evaluation / follow up of children with
haemophilia who receive intensive replacement therapy. Furthermore, the CHAQ
35
may not be sensitive enough to pick up early changes in joint impairment in
children with haemophilia. This could make the CHAQ less suitable in the early
phase of follow up of patients on prophylaxis.
Future directions
Physical and structural joint health is relatively good in children on intensive
replacement therapy and mild changes in joint health may not always be detectable
by scales of functional activities such as the CHAQ. In future studies, it could be
important to incorporate more sophisticated measures, such as gait analysis, that
may predict risk for functional impairment. These analyses have demonstrated to
some extent the ability to detect sub- clinical changes in gait pattern parameters,
which may both reflect subject joint dysfunction and also cause worsening of joint
function [25,26]. It may be expected that in the coming decade measures like gait
analysis will become of major importance in the detection of early joint impairment
for children on intensive treatment and potentially guide early interventions.
Conclusions
This study is a first attempt to describe the impact of early deterioration of joint
health on functional ability in children with haemophilia who are treated
intensively. The children in this study showed near optimal joint health and
functional ability. No clear relationship was found between those two entities, with
exception of the ankles. They appear to be the first joints to demonstrate functional
loss and therefore may require special attention in the follow up of these children.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
The original data from the HJHS validation study was collected by the Physical
Therapy Expert Working Group of the International Prophylaxis Study Group
through a grant supported by funding from The Bayer Haemophilia Awards
Program (Special Project Award, Bayer HealthCare LLC, Biological Products
Division). Wim Groen was supported by an unrestricted grant from Pfizer. Author
contributions: W. Groen, J. van der Net, K. Bos, K. Fischer, P. Helders, M. MancoJohnson, P. Petrini and V. Blanchette designed the study. J. van der Net, A. Abad,
B-M. Bergstrom, P. Hilliard, N. Zourikian and S. Funk collected data. W. Groen
and K. Bos performed the statistical analyses and drafted the manuscript. All
authors contributed to writing the final manuscript. The authors stated that they had
no interests which might be perceived as posing a conflict or bias.
36
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Chapter 3
Development and preliminary
testing of a paediatric version of the
Haemophilia Activities List
(PedHAL)
Groen, W.G.
Van der Net, J.
Helders, P.J.M.
Fischer, K.
Haemophilia. 2010 Mar;16(2):281-9.
40
SUMMARY
Worldwide, children with hemophilia suffer from limitations in performing
activities of daily living. To measure such limitations in adults a disease specific
instrument, the Hemophilia Activities List (HAL), was created in 2004. The aim of
the present study was to adapt the HAL for children with hemophilia and to assess
its psychometric properties.
The structure and the main content were derived from the HAL.
Additionally, items of the Childhood Health Assessment Questionnaire and the
Activity Scale for Kids were considered for inclusion. This version was evaluated
by health professionals (n=6), patients (n=4), and parents (n=3). A pilot test in a
sample of 32 Dutch children was performed to assess score distribution, construct
validity (Spearman’s rho) and reproducibility.
Administration of the PedHAL was feasible for children from the age of 4
years onwards. The PedHAL scores of the Dutch children were in the high end of
the scale, reflecting a good functional status. Most subscales showed moderate
associations with the joint examination (rho = 0.42 – 0.63) and moderate to good
associations with the physical function subscale of the CHQ-50 (rho = 0.48 – 0.78).
No significant associations were found for the PedHAL and the subscales mental
health and behaviour, except for the subscales leisure & sport and mental health
(rho = 0.47). Test-retest agreement was good.
The PedHAL is a promising tool, but further testing in populations with a
higher level of disability is warranted to study the full range of its psychometric
properties.
41
INTRODUCTION
Without prophylactic treatment, many children and adults with severe haemophilia
suffer from recurrent bleeding episodes of major joints. Eventually these bleeds
will result in irreversible joint damage and limitations in activities of daily living.
Until now, clinical evaluation of children and adolescents with haemophilia has
been limited to measurements on the level of body structures and quality of life [13]. In the WHO’s International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health
(ICF) [4], activities in daily life are recognized as an important link between
structural problems, participation and quality of life. However, currently, no
instrument is available to quantify the full range of activities in daily life for
children and adolescents with haemophilia.
Recently the Haemophilia Activities List (HAL) has been developed and
tested to measure meaningful activities in daily life for adult persons with
haemophilia [5,6]. The HAL however, was designed for adults and is therefore not
applicable in children. In a recent study on functional outcome, including the HAL,
it was stated that “appropriate modifications for the use (of the HAL) in children
would be required” [10]. As haemophilia is a life-long condition and symptoms
may occur quite early, a paediatric version of the HAL should follow the construct
of the HAL, as well as represent the development of daily childhood activities
according to age. The PedHAL and the HAL combined will enable continuous
monitoring of the activities of daily life from early childhood into late adulthood.
Moreover, the available functional outcome measures for childhood
musculoskeletal conditions such as the Childhood Health Assessment
Questionnaire (CHAQ) [7] and the Activities Scale for Kids (ASK) [8] are less
adequate for the evaluation of our patients. The CHAQ has shown to be a reliable
and valid instrument for especially systemic (inflammatory) conditions in the
musculoskeletal system (e.g. juvenile idiopathic arthritis or dermatomyositis) [7,9].
The CHAQ therefore lacks a focus on motor tasks that are especially influenced by
joints mostly affected in hemophilia (i.e. elbow, knee and ankle joint). The ASK is
a generic instrument which focuses on childhood musculoskeletal conditions and
has not been validated specifically for children with hemophilia. The ASK is
expected to be less valid in a homogeneous population of children with hemophilia
since they were only a small group in the validation of the ASK.
This study describes the first steps in developing a disease specific tool that
measures (self-) perceived limitation of activities in daily life in children and
adolescents with haemophilia based on the construct of the HAL.
42
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Patients
Patients were recruited from the Van Creveldkliniek in Utrecht, the Netherlands, a
supra-regional comprehensive care unit for patients with haemophilia. Patients with
mild, moderate and severe haemophilia (A or B) in the age of 4 to 17 were invited
to participate. Patients with significant cognitive impairment or insufficient
knowledge of the Dutch language were excluded. All children and parents provided
a written informed consent and the study was approved by the Institutional Review
Board.
Phase I: Item selection
The first version of the PedHAL was developed by selecting and/or modifying
items from different sources. Items from Haemophilia Activities List (HAL), the
Childhood Health Assessment Questionnaire (CHAQ) and the Activity Scale for
Kids (ASK) were considered. Two experts in the field of paediatric disability and
haematology were involved in this phase (JN and KF). The aim was to follow the
original structure of the HAL, including its seven domains. These domains are 1)
sitting, kneeling, standing, 2) functions of the legs, 3) functions of the arms, 4) use
of transportation, 5) self care, 6) household tasks, and 7) leisure activities and
sports. As a result, relevant items of the CHAQ and ASK were selected in two
expert meetings and were categorized into the matching domain of the original
HAL. This resulted in version 0.0 of the PedHAL.
Items that were found to be phrased too difficult were corrected to suit the
vocabulary of children and adolescents. The process of item selection is visualized
in a flowchart in Figure 1.
Phase II: Item evaluation
The PedHAL version 0 was reviewed in two steps: First, health
professionals in the field of paediatric haemophilia reviewed the items that were
selected and their suggestions were implemented in an adapted version. Secondly,
patients and caregivers reviewed the version that resulted from this first step.
Reviewing was done in a structured manner: all reviewers were asked to consider
the clarity and importance of the individual items. Furthermore, content and style
were rated, and general remarks could be added. In addition, to check for potential
missing items, children and parents were asked to report important activities that
could be negatively affected by haemophilia. These activities had to be ranked
from most to least important. Version 0.1 of the PedHAL was created based on the
43
results of the consecutive reviews and the additions proposed by the children and
parents at a debriefing session with the main investigators (WG, JN, KF). Two
different versions were made: a child and a parent version.
Figure 2. Flowchart of the study. HAL, Haemophilia Activities List; CHAQ, Childhood Health
Assessment Questionnaire; ASK, Activity Scale for Kids.
In this study, we administered the parent version for children aged 4 to 7 whereas
children of 8 to 18 received the child version. The only difference between the two
versions was the use of language in the introduction and in the questions. For
children this was: “In the previous month, did you have any difficulty, due to
haemophilia, with:”. In the parents version this was: “In the previous month, did
your child have any difficulty, due to haemophilia, with:” .
Phase III: Pilot testing
PedHAL version 0.1 was administered to children and parents at the Van
Creveldkliniek. For patients 4 to 7 years, one of the parents per child was requested
to complete a parent-version. In older patients, both patient and parent completed
44
the questionnaire. After one to two weeks, the PedHAL version 0.1 was readministered, to determine reproducibility. Patient-parent concordance was
determined for the group of patients of 8-18 years. PedHAL scores were calculated
as normalised scores for both scales and a sumscore, according to the method as
proposed by Van Genderen [11]. A score of 100 indicates no perceived functional
limitation and a score of 0 indicates maximum perceived limitation.
Construct validity was assessed by correlating PedHAL scores to a joint
examination for all patients and to three subscales of the Child Health
Questionnaire (CHQ-50) in a sub-sample (n=22). The CHQ-50 is a generic health
outcome measure for children that comprises of a physical-, behavioural-, and
emotional health scale [12,13]. The subscales used for testing construct validity
were: physical function (PF), behaviour (BE) and mental health (MH). A joint
examination of elbows, knees and ankles was performed by the paediatric
haematologist (KF) during routine check-up. Joint health was scored on five
aspects: observation of joint swelling, muscular atrophy, joint alignment (varus or
valgus position), impaired flexion, and impaired extension. These aspects were
scored as a dichotomized score: present (1) or absent (0). These individual sum
scores (range 0-28; varus/valgus was not applicable to elbows) were then
normalized to a score of 0-100, with 0 indicating bad joint health and 100
indicating optimum joint health. To test for construct validity, the PedHAL scores
were correlated to theoretical converging subscale of the CHQ-50: i.e. physical
functioning (PF). This subscale contains 6 questions about the (in) ability to
perform physical activities. The PF score of the CHQ-50 was expected to correlate
moderately to strongly (i.e. 0.4-1) with PedHAL scores. In addition, correlation to
two theoretically diverging subscales of the CHQ-50 “behaviour” (BE) and
“mental health” (MH) was assessed, expecting no correlation with PedHAL scores.
To determine reproducibility, the PedHAL was sent to all patients and their
parents by surface mail one week after their visit to the clinic, requesting to fill out
the PedHAL between seven and fourteen days after the first time the PedHAL was
completed. The date of completion was documented to determine the exact testretest interval.
Statistics
Data were analyzed using the statistical package for social sciences (SPSS, version
14). Data were tested for normality and quantitative descriptive statistics (means,
standard deviations (SD) and ranges) were used to present domain and sum scores
of the PedHAL as well as the joint examination. Reproducibility (test-retest
45
agreement) and patient-parent agreement were evaluated by Wilcoxon signed rank
order test and by calculation of the limits of agreement [14]. The mean difference
(systematic bias) ± limits of agreement (random error) contains 95% of the
difference in scores of two measurements. Associations between joint health,
CHQ-50 and PedHAL scores were analysed using Spearman correlation
coefficients. A p-value of <0.05 was considered statistically significant.
RESULTS
Phase I: Item selection
For the item selection procedure a selection of relevant items of the HAL, CHAQ
and ASK was made. All 42 items of the HAL, 33 of the CHAQ (nr 1-6, 10-17, 19,
21-38), and 36 of the ASK were considered suitable for the PedHAL. Items of the
CHAQ and ASK were categorized into the matching domains of the HAL. It was
decided whether the original HAL item was appropriate for children and if the
CHAQ or ASK item should be used as a relevant addition to that domain. If
necessary, items were slightly rephrased to fit the language ability of children and
adolescents (Table 1). This procedure resulted in PedHAL version 0.0. A list of
decisions made during this selection procedure can be obtained from the authors.
Table 1. Examples of changes made to original HAL items
Original HAL item PedHAL alternative
Putting on a tie or closing the top button of
a shirt
Fastening a hood or doing up the top
button on his/her jacket
Strolling / (window-)shopping Strolling (e.g. a day at the zoo)
Fine hand movements
(e.g. closing buttons)
Fine hand movements (e.g. picking up
a Lego, playing computer games)
Phase II: Item evaluation
A first round of item evaluation was done in an expert panel consisting of six
health professionals, all working in the field of haemophilia (a physical therapist, a
paediatric physical therapist, a paediatric occupational therapist, a paediatrician
specialised in haemophilia, a nurse and a physiatrist). They rated most of the items
to be clear and appropriate (on a scale from 0-10; 10 being perfect). The content
was rated a 6.5 (SD 2.6) and style a 7.2 (SD 0.8). When the majority (i.e. ≥3 of 5)
46
of the health professionals considered an item to be unclear or inappropriate, these
items were reconsidered during a debriefing session between the three main
investigators. Five items were rated to be unclear and were altered based on the
suggestions. One item (sitting on the person carrier on the back of a bicycle) was
considered inappropriate and was removed from the list. General remarks
concerned the order of the items and redundancy of some items. In addition, some
textual amendments were made in order to enhance the clarity of the items.
In the second round of item evaluation, four patients (all had severe hemophilia;
mean age 15.8 (SD 1.5) years) and three caregivers (all mothers) reported activities
such as walking long distances and participating in competitive sports to be most
affected by haemophilia. This was reflected by the importance scores of the
individual items. Most activities performed when using the upper extremities (e.g.
fine motor tasks) were considered less important, whereas basic activities
performed using the lower extremities and more intense ambulatory activities such
as walking, running and cycling were considered to be very important. Content was
rated at a mean of 7.7±1.3 and style at 8.0±0.7. Based on these results two more
items were included, i.e. standing and walking for longer periods of time. All items
that were considered unimportant by the majority of patients and caregivers were
still retained for the pilot phase after which item reduction could be performed
based on a larger sample of negative scores.
Phase III: Pilot testing
Feasibility and Score distribution
A convenience sample of 32 parents (5 fathers and 27 mothers) and 19 children
completed the PedHAL version 0.1 at their annual check up at the Van
Creveldkliniek. Twenty six patients had haemophilia A and 6 patients had
haemophilia B. The mean age of the patients was 8.9 years (SD 3.1, range 4.7 –
17.6). Twenty-four children had severe haemophilia (FVIII/IX < 1%), and 8 had
mild haemophilia (FVIII/IX 6-40%). Mean factor activity in the mild patients was
14.4% (SD 5.6). Patients did not differ in age according to severity (severe 9.0 ±
2.7 versus mild 10.8 ± 4.6, p=0.20). All patients with severe haemophilia were
treated prophylactically, whereas all patients with mild haemophilia received ‘ondemand’ treatment. None of the patients had a target joint as defined by three or
more bleeds in three months [15].
It took patients and parents approximately 10 minutes to complete the
PedHAL and there were no missing values in any of the PedHAL forms. Score
characteristics are shown in Table 2. The PedHAL sum scores on the parent forms
47
ranged from 69 to 100 with a mean score of 95 (SD 9). For the child forms mean
scores were 97 (SD 7, range 73 -100) and for the parent forms for children under 8
years old the mean sum score was 93 (SD 11, range 69-100). Noteworthy is the
high proportion of activities that were reported to be not applicable (N/A) in the
domains of household activities (26 to 59%) and sports and leisure activities (25 to
45 %).The score distribution of subscale and sum scores are visualized by box and
whisker plots in Figures 2 and 3.
Figure 3. Parents’ PedHAL scores according to domains and sum score (n=32). SKS, Sitting kneeling
standing; LEGS, functions of the legs, ARMS; functions of the arms; TRANS, use of transportation;
SELFC, self-care; HOUSEH, household tasks; Leisure activities and sports; SUM, sum score.
Median scores for all domains were 100. Boxes represent 25-50 percentile, whiskers represent 5-25
percentile, dots represent outliers.
48
Figure 3. Children’s PedHAL scores according to domains and sum score (n=19). SKS, Sitting
kneeling standing; LEGS, functions of the legs, ARMS; functions of the arms; TRANS, use of
transportation; SELFC, self-care; HOUSEH, household tasks; Leisure activities and sports;
SUM, sum score. Median scores for all domains were 100. Boxes represent 25-50 percentile,
whiskers represent 5-25 percentile, dots represent outliers.
49
Table 2. Normalised Score-distribution for the child and parent versions of the
PedHAL
Range
Domain Mean SD Min Max
%
Ceiling
%Items
N/A
parent
forms all
Sitting kneeling
standing 96 9 62 100 70 5
4-18 Functions of the legs 92 15 58 100 67 1
(n=32) Functions of the arms 99 2 92 100 88 3
Use of transportation 97 8 60 100 88 11
Self care 98 8 60 100 88 4
Household activities 99 7 60 100 97 34
Leisure and sport 94 12 56 100 70 34
Sum score 95 9 69 100 55 12
child
forms
Sitting kneeling
standing 96 9 68 100 74 6
8-18 Functions of the legs 94 11 64 100 68 1
(n=19) Functions of the arms 97 6 76 100 74 0
Use of transportation 100 2 93 100 95 14
Self care 99 3 87 100 84 2
Household activities 95 13 50 100 81 26
Leisure and sport 96 8 71 100 63 25
Sum score 97 7 73 100 53 9
parent
forms
Sitting kneeling
standing 94 10 64 100 62 6
for
children
<8 Functions of the legs 87 18 58 100 46 3
(n=13) Functions of the arms 100 1 96 100 92 6
Use of transportation 95 12 60 100 77 21
Self care 95 12 60 100 77 9
Household activities 96 13 60 100 90 59
Leisure and sport 92 15 56 100 62 45
Sum score 93 11 69 100 38 18
50
Patient-parent agreement
There were 15 pairs of patient and parent forms available for analysis. As can be
appreciated from Table 3, patient and parent forms yielded very similar scores. The
Limits of Agreement (LOA) values ranged from 3.4 for the domain “use of
transportation”, to 28.2 for household tasks. This indicates that there is some
disagreement in between patients and their parents especially in the latter domain
of household tasks.
Table 3. Patient-parent agreement of the PedHAL (n=15)
Parent Child p-Value LOA
Domain mean SD mean SD (Wilcoxon)
Sitting kneeling standing 96.4 9.8 95.5 10.0 0.72 -0.5 ± 10.0
Functions of the legs 95.6 9.4 95.0 10.0 0.50 -0.4 ± 7.6
Functions of the arms 98.7 2.9 97.6 6.2 0.52 0.0 ± 10.0
Use of transportation 100.0 0.0 99.6 1.7 0.32 0.7 ± 3.4
Self care 99.3 2.9 98.7 3.5 0.59 -0.5 ± 7.8
Household activities 100.0 0.0 93.6 14.9 0.11 0.7 ± 28.2
Leisure and sport 96.4 6.8 96.0 8.0 0.92 -1.1 ± 10.9
Sum score 97.4 5.3 96.5 7.1 0.40 -0.3 ± 7.1
Interpretation: A p-value >,0.05 as assessed by the Wilcoxon signed rank test
means that scores on parent and child versions did not differ statistically.
LOA: Limits Of Agreement. Values represent the change in mean scores
(systematic bias) ± the borders of the 95% confidence interval of the change in
scores (random error).
Reproducibility
For the test-retest analysis 17 parent forms and 9 child forms were available,
corresponding with response rates of 53 and 47% respectively, which was
considered to be quite low. The interval between test and retest was 11.3 days (SD
6.3; range 3 - 29). The results of the test retest analysis for parents and children can
be appreciated from Table 4. Reproducibility, as assessed by a Wilcoxon signed
rank order test, showed no differences on the level of subscales and sum score of
the PedHAL on test and retest for both parent and child forms. The limits of
agreement were low on most subscales for the parents’ and the child forms.
51
Table 4. Test-retest values for both parent and child versions of the PedHAL
(n=17).
Test Retest LOA
Domain mean SD mean SD P LOA
Child Sitting kneeling standing 100.0 0.0 99.5 1.5 0.32 -0.5 ± 0.6
(n=9) Functions of the legs 99.6 1.2 99.2 2.4 0.65 -0.4 ± 1.3
Functions of the arms 99.1 1.8 99.1 2.7 1.00 0.0 ± 2.0
Use of transportation 99.3 2.2 100.0 0.0 0.32 0.7 ± 0.6
Self care 99.8 0.7 99.3 1.6 0.32 -0.5 ± 0.6
Household activities 96.2 7.6 97.5 7.1 0.79 0.7 ± 1.5
Leisure and sport 99.8 0.7 98.7 4.0 0.65 -1.1 ± 1.3
Sum score 99.5 1.0 99.2 2.2 1.00 -0.3 ± 2.0
Parent Sitting kneeling standing 99.5 2.1 99.9 0.6 0.32 0.4 ± 2.9
(n=17) Functions of the legs 99.2 1.6 99.5 1.1 0.18 0.2 ± 1.3
Functions of the arms 100.0 0.0 100.0 0.0 1.00 0.0 ± 0.0
Use of transportation 100.0 0.0 100.0 0.0 1.00 0.0 ± 0.0
Self care 100.0 0.0 100.0 0.0 1.00 0.0 ± 0.0
Household activities 100.0 0.0 100.0 0.0 1.00 0.0 ± 0.0
Leisure and sport 99.8 0.9 100.0 0.0 0.32 0.2 ± 1.7
Sum score 99.7 0.7 99.8 0.3 0.10 0.2 ± 0.9
Interpretation: A p-value >,0.05 as assessed by the Wilcoxon signed rank test
means that scores on two tests did not differ statistically.
Construct validity
Table 5 shows the results of divergent and convergent validity for PedHAL with
subscales of the CHQ-50 and joint examination. Patients of which a CHQ-50 was
available for analysis (n=22) were of similar age as the other 10 patients (mean
10.4 versus 9.0 years respectively, p=0.28). Furthermore there was no difference in
haemophilia severity between the groups (27.3% and 20% with mild haemophilia
respectively, p=0.62). The scores of the domains of the PedHAL correlated
significantly with the subscale “physical functioning” of the CHQ-50, ranging from
0.48 (p=0.03) in the domain “functions of the arms” to 0.74 for the domain “selfcare” (p<0.01). As expected, scores of the PedHAL subscales showed very low
correlation with the CHQ-50 subscales “behaviour” and “mental health”. The only
exception was the association between the PedHAL domain “leisure activities and
sport” and Mental Health of the CHQ-50 (0.47, p=0.03). In contrast, five PedHAL
52
domains showed significant and moderate correlations with joint health (0.42 0.68). Two PedHAL domains, “functions of the arms” and “self-care”, showed the
least correlation with joint health.
Table 5. Correlation of PedHAL domains with CHQ-50 domains and Joint
Examination (n=22)
CHQ PF CHQ BE CHQ MH JE
Domain rho p rho p rho p rho p
Sitting kneeling standing 0.59 <0.01 0.19 0.41 0.18 0.45 0.62 0.00
Functions of the legs 0.61 <0.01 0.14 0.56 0.24 0.3 0.59 0.00
Functions of the arms 0.48 0.03 0.18 0.44 0.34 0.13 0.18 0.35
Use of transportation 0.71 <0.01 0.41 0.06 0.29 0.21 0.68 0.00
Self care 0.74 <0.01 0.26 0.25 0.28 0.22 0.36 0.06
Household activities 0.54 0.02 0.19 0.44 0.04 0.86 0.42 0.04
Leisure and sport 0.70 <0.01 0.41 0.06 0.47 0.03 0.63 0.00
Sum score 0.57 0.01 0.14 0.55 0.20 0.39 0.59 0.00
CHQ PF, CHQ subscale physical functioning; CHQ BE, CHQ subscale Behaviour;
CHQ MH, CHQ subscale mental health. JE, Joint Examination. Values are
Spearman correlations (rho).
DISCUSSION
Our study describes the development of the paediatric version of the HAL.
Subsequent testing in a convenience sample of 32 patients showed good construct
validity, reproducibility and patient parent agreement. Reliability (discriminative
ability) could not be assessed due to homogeneity of the functional status of the
study population.
Development
The development of the PedHAL was based on the existing validated construct of
the HAL. This enabled the procedure to be less complex than the original steps that
were necessary for the development of the HAL. A structured evaluation of both
content and style was performed by health care professionals, patients and
caregivers. This proved to be a very successful method to transform the HAL into a
paediatric version. Moreover, the involvement of the patients and caregivers in the
designing process enhanced the degree of face validity of the PedHAL and has
been recommended by several authors [14,16]. We are aware of the fact that we
might have introduced some redundancy into the PedHAL, especially in the
53
domain sports and leisure activities. We accepted this in this stage of the
development of the PedHAL. In a later stage, when more data are available, item
reduction could be considered, making the PedHAL shorter and even more feasible
to use.
Score distribution
In general, both PedHAL scale and summary scores were high in this Dutch
sample. Due to intensive treatment, these patients were a relatively unaffected
patient population in terms of their joint status and consequently in their activities
of daily living. Therefore, the ability of the instrument to detect clinically relevant
changes and to describe the functional activity level beyond the average in
relatively healthy populations could not be assessed. Profound ceiling effects were
present in all PedHAL subscales (i.e. >50% of respondents at maximum score).
The sum scores of the PedHAL were comparable to those of healthy children as
measured with the Activity Scale for Kids (93.1, SD 6.4) [17]. This finding is in
accordance with previous reports on Haemophilia Joint Health Score (HJHS) [18],
physical fitness [19], and activities [20] in a comparable Dutch patient group. From
a clinical perspective, the interpretability of the scores is improved by reporting
performance in several subpopulations including the full spectrum of disability.
Therefore data of the children with very limited disability are only a first step to
fully appreciate the potential of the PedHAL. Testing the PedHAL in patient
populations with less favourable joint status is mandatory to fully understand the
psychometric properties of the PedHAL 0.1 version that now has been developed.
Reproducibility
Reproducibility can be assessed either by agreement or reliability statistics. We
chose limits of agreement (LOA as a measure of agreement, because it is more
stable over different population samples than reliability parameters such as the
intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC). Agreement statistics are preferable in all
situations in which the instrument will be used for evaluation purposes [21].
Despite the advantages of the LOA, values found in this study should be
treated with caution due to the small sample size and to the skewed (ceiling effect)
distribution of the PedHAL scores [22]. This implies that the LOA values found in
this study are most certainly underestimated. Therefore, to really understand the
reproducibility of the PedHAL it is of great importance that it is assessed again in a
sample of children with a higher level of disability.
54
Construct validity
We addressed construct validity by correlating PedHAL scores with three subscale
scores of the CHQ-50 and to joint health. As expected, significant and moderate to
strong associations were found between the PedHAL and the physical function
domain of the CHQ-50. In addition, most PedHAL subscales did not correlate with
the subscales “behaviour” and “mental health” of the CHQ-50. The only exception
to this was the association between the PedHAL domain “leisure activities and
sport” of the PedHAL and Mental Health of the CHQ-50. This might be supported
by the common notion of ‘be active and feel good’, which is advocated to promote
an active lifestyle. The PedHAL domains “functions of the arms” and “self-care”
did not correlate with joint health. This may be explained by the fact that these
domains of the PedHAL are related to functions of the upper extremities, which
were mostly unaffected in our patient sample. These results combined provide
preliminary evidence for the construct validity of the PedHAL.
Clinical implications
Our intention was to keep the original structure of the HAL intact as much as
possible, as well as to represent the development of daily childhood activities
according to age, this is to enable longitudinal follow up of health outcome in
patients with hemophilia from childhood to adulthood. We recognise that this
approach resulted in an instrument which could not discriminate in this Dutch
sample of children with very mild functional limitations. However, based on the
experiences with the performance of the adult version of the HAL, it is expected
that in different populations, the PedHAL will be able to discriminate between
children with severe, moderate and mild disability. Therefore, the PedHAL is
anticipated to become a very valuable addition to the repertoire of outcome
measures.
Future research
The current evaluation of the Dutch PedHAL shows a need for additional
evaluation of this instrument in children and teenagers with more functional
limitations, for example severe haemophilia patients who have not been treated
with early prophylaxis. Such studies will enable pooled analyses of item
performance, scale validity and calibration of scores in a variety of international
populations. In addition, this will provide further insight into the clinical
interpretation of PedHAL scores.
55
In summary, the PedHAL seems feasible for use in children. The scores of
the Dutch children were predominantly high, reflecting a good functional status.
Results of the pilot test concerning reproducibility and construct validity are
encouraging. We conclude the PedHAL to be a promising tool, but further testing
in populations with a higher level of disability is warranted to study the full range
of its psychometric properties.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
This study was supported by an unrestricted grant from Pfizer.
56
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(9) Huber AM, Hicks JE, Lachenbruch PA, Perez MD, Zemel LS, Rennebohm RM,
Wallace CA, Lindsley CB, Passo MH, Ballinger SH, Bowyer SL, Reed AM, White
PH, Katona IM, Miller FW, Rider LG, Feldman BM. Validation of the Childhood
Health Assessment Questionnaire in the juvenile idiopathic myopathies. Juvenile
Dermatomyositis Disease Activity Collaborative Study Group. J Rheumatol 2001
May;28(5):1106-11.
(10) Poonnoose PM, Thomas R, Keshava SN, Cherian RS, Padankatti S, Pazani D,
Kavitha ML, Devadarasini M, Bhattacharji S, Viswabandya A, John JA, Macaden
AS, Mathews V, Srivastava A. Psychometric analysis of the Functional
Independence Score in Haemophilia (FISH). Haemophilia 2007
September;13(5):620-6.
(11) Van Genderen FR. Functional limitations in severe hemophilia. Thesis. Utrecht
University, 2006.
(12) Landgraf JM, John E, Abetz L. Child Health Questionnaire (CHQ): A User's
Manual. The Health Institute, New England Medical Center; 1996.
57
(13) Wulffraat N, Van der Net JJ, Ruperto N, Kamphuis S, Prakken BJ, ten CR, Van
Soesbergen RM, van Rossum MA, Raat H, Landgraf JM, Kuis W. The Dutch
version of the Childhood Health Assessment Questionnaire (CHAQ) and the Child
Health Questionnaire (CHQ). Clin Exp Rheumatol 2001 July;19(4 Suppl 23):S111S115.
(14) Terwee CB, Bot SDM, de Boer MR, van der Windt DAWM, Knol DL, Dekker J,
Bouter LM, de Vet HCW. Quality criteria were proposed for measurement properties
of health status questionnaires. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology 2007;60(1):34-42.
(15) Feldman BM, Rivard G, Israels S, Robinson S, Hedden D, Babyn P, Oh P, Einerson
T, McLimont M, Stain A. Preliminary results from the Canadian Hemophilia
Prophylaxis trial. Haemophilia 2000;6:272.
(16) Streiner DL, Norman GR. Health measurement scales. fourth ed. New York: Oxford
University Press; 2008.
(17) Plint A, Gaboury I, Owen J, Young N. Activities Scale for Kids: an analysis of
normals. Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics (6) 2003;788-90.
(18) Feldman B, Funk S, Hilliard P, Van der Net J, Zourikian N, Bergstrom B-M,
Engelbert R, Engelbert R, Abad A, Petrini P, Manco-Johnson M. The Hemophilia
Joint Health Score (HJHS) international validation study. Haemophilia
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(19) Engelbert RH, Plantinga M, van der NJ, Van Genderen FR, van den Berg MH,
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(20) Heijnen L, Mauser-Bunschoten EP, Roosendaal G. Participation in sports by Dutch
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58
Chapter 4
Functional Limitations in Romanian
children with haemophilia: further
testing of psychometric properties of
the Paediatric Haemophilia Activities
List
Groen, W.
Van der Net, J.
Lacatusu, A.
Serban, M.
Helders, P. J. M.
Fischer, K.
Submitted for publication
60
SUMMARY
Children with haemophilia suffer from joint bleeds which eventually result in
limitations in performing activities of daily life. Recently the Paediatric
Haemophilia Activities List (PedHAL) has been developed and tested in a Dutch
cohort of children with intensive replacement therapy. The psychometric properties
of the PedHAL in children not receiving intensive replacement therapy are not
known. The objective was to gain further insight into the psychometric properties
of the PedHAL as well as to assess the functional health status of Romanian
children and adolescents with haemophilia.
Children attending to the rehabilitation center of Buzias in Romania were
sampled consecutively. Construct validity of the PedHAL was evaluated by
concurrent testing with objective and subjective measures of physical function and
functional ability. Reproducibility was tested by a 3-day test-retest by intraclass
correlation coefficient (ICC) and limits of agreement (LOA). Responsiveness to
rehabilitation was assessed by Haemophilia Joint Health Score (HJHS) and
PedHAL.
Twenty-nine children with severe (n=25) or moderate (n=4) haemophilia
participated. Mean age was 13.2 years (SD 4.0). Median score of the PedHAL was
83.5 (IQR 47.9-90.5). The PedHAL correlated moderately with HJHS (rho=-0.59),
FISH (rho=0.65) and CHQ-PF (rho=0.40) and not with CHQ-MH, CHQ-BE and
6MWT. Test retest reliability was good (ICC = 0.95). LOA was 17.4 points for the
sum score. HJHS scores improved slightly after rehabilitation, whereas PedHAL
scores did not change.
In general, construct validity and test-retest reliability were good, testretest agreement showed some variability. Therefore, currently the PedHAL may
be more appropriate for research purposes than for individual patient monitoring in
clinical practice. Romanian children with haemophilia have significant
impairments in joint health and functional ability as measured by objective and
subjective measure.
61
INTRODUCTION
Without prophylactic treatment, children and adults with severe haemophilia suffer
from recurrent bleeding episodes of major joints. Eventually these bleeds will
result in irreversible joint damage, chronic pain, and limitations in activities of
daily living. Until now, clinical evaluation of children and adolescents with
haemophilia has been limited to measurements on the level of body structures and
functions and quality of life [1-3]. In the World Health Organisations’ (WHO)
International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) [4],
activities in daily life are recognized as an important link between structural
problems, participation and quality of life. However, until recently, no instruments
were available to quantify functional activities in children and adolescents with
haemophilia.
Recently the Haemophilia Activities List (HAL) has been developed and
tested to measure meaningful activities in daily life for adults with haemophilia
[5,6]. The HAL however, was designed for adults and is therefore less suitable to
use in children. Moreover, the available functional outcome measures for
musculoskeletal conditions such as the Childhood Health Assessment
Questionnaire (CHAQ) [7] and the Activities Scale for Kids (ASK) [8] are less
adequate for the evaluation of our patients, as haemophilia predominantly affects
ankles, knees, and elbows. Therefore, a paediatric version of the HAL (the
PedHAL) was created and preliminarily tested in Dutch children with haemophilia
[9]. This pilot test of the PedHAL showed that administrating the questionnaire
was feasible, but resulted in very high scores, indicating a group of Dutch children
treated with early prophylactic treatment [9]. The high scores on the PedHAL
obtained in this group hampered the analysis of psychometric properties.
Consequently there is a need for additional evaluation in children with more
functional limitations. For example in severe haemophilia patients who have not
had the privilege to be treated with early prophylaxis, as is the case in Romanian
children. In addition, the ability of the PedHAL to detect changes over time is
unknown. Insight in the ability to detect changes over time is warranted to
substantiate the efficacy and efficiency of treatment of children and teenagers with
haemophilia. The aims of the present study were twofold: 1) To study construct
validity, reproducibility and responsiveness of the PedHAL. 2) To gain insight into
the functional health status of Romanian children with haemophilia, who are not on
intensive replacement therapy.
The aims of the present study were twofold: 1) To study construct validity,
reproducibility and responsiveness of the PedHAL. 2) To assess the functional
62
health status of Romanian children with haemophilia, who are not on intensive
replacement therapy.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Patients
Romanian children with haemophilia A or B, with and without current inhibitors,
aged 4 to 18, who are admitted to the Buzias Rehabilitation centre (devoted to
treating children with diabetes and haemophilia), were invited to participate.
Inclusion criteria were: subjects or parents being able to read and communicate the
Romanian language well enough to complete the PedHAL and a signed informed
consent form. Excluded were those with no parent or guardian available and those
with significant cognitive impairments.
Study procedure
Study procedures are shown in Figure 1. Romanian children and adolescents with
haemophilia who attended to the Buzias Rehabilitation centre were asked to
participate in the study. On this occasion the Functional Independence Score in
Haemophilia (FISH), PedHAL, Child Health Questionnaire 50 (CHQ-50), and a 6
Minute Walking Test (6MWT) test were performed according to available manuals
and guidelines. The CHQ-50 and the PedHAL for children under 8 years old were
completed by the parent or caregiver. The physical therapists performed their
regular treatment (and were asked to log their treatment modalities, e.g.
hydrotherapy, and goals, e.g. muscle strength, range of motion etc.). After
treatment the physician subjectively rated the health status of the patients as
“improved”, “a little better”, “better”, “about the same”, or “worse”, compared to
before treatment. Demographic and clinical data, as well as HJHS, FISH, PedHAL
and 6MWT were collected within the first (2-3) days after arrival at Buzias. In
addition, reproducibility of the PedHAL was assessed after 3 days. After the
rehabilitation (duration varied between children) the PedHAL and HJHS were
measured.
All measurements were performed by a trained haematologist and physical
therapist who attended to a 2 day workshop in fall 2009, which was organized by
JN,WG,PH and MS. This workshop consisted of theory sessions, explaining the
theoretical background, as well as extensive practical “break-out” sessions to
practice the clinical skills for the HJHS and FISH (JN) and 6 minute walk test
(6MWT) (WG). All study procedures were approved by the Ethical board of the
University Emergency Children Hospital, Louis Turcanu ,Timisoara
63
-HJHS
-FISH
-PedHAL
-CHQ-50 PF/MH/BE
-6MWT
-PedHAL retest
T0
-Physician's rating of change
in functional health status
-HJHS
-PedHAL
reproducibility
responsiveness
construct validity
-Demographic and clinical data
T0 +3 days T1
Rehabilitation (x weeks)
Figure 1. Schematic overview of the study. The outcome measures obtained at different time points
during the study are shown in the boxes. The psychometric analyses performed in this study are
shown in italics. T0 represents the patient’s entry at the Buzias rehabilitation centre. T1 is the
discharge from the centre. The length of stay at the rehabilitation centre per varied per patient.
Outcome measures
All documents and tools were translated from English into Romanian language by
a professional translator.
Paediatric Haemophilia Activities List ( PedHAL version 0.11)
The PedHAL is a measure of self perceived functional limitations. It was
developed together with patients, their parents as well as health professionals
involved in haemophilia care. It contains 53 items across 7 domains and can be
completed by both parents and children themselves (Appendix I). It takes about 1015 minutes to complete the PedHAL. A raw score is converted to a normalized
score that ranges from 0 (worst functional status) to 100 (best possible functional
status). Initial testing of this questionnaire showed promising results with regard to
feasibility and psychometric properties such as reproducibility and validity [1].
Due to a higher bleeding frequency in patients in countries with minimal available
prophylaxis the recall period for the PedHAL has been limited from a month to one
week. A bleeding free interval of one week seemed realistic in this population.
Haemophilia Joint Health Score (HJHS) version 2.0
Joint function was measured with the HJHS, an 8-item impairment measure of the
six key index joints: knees, elbows and ankles. The 8 items are: duration of
64
swelling, severity of swelling, muscle Atrophy, crepitus on motion, flexion loss,
extension loss, joint pain and muscle strength. The items are scored by grade of
severity of impairment. For example: a flexion loss less than 5º scores a zero,
whereas more than 20º flexion loss results in a score of 3. Scores are summed up to
form joint totals and these are further summed and are supplemented with a score
for global gait (i.e. observation of performance of walking, stair climbing, running,
and hopping on one leg). Thus a final HJHJS score and ranges from 0 (no
impairment) to 124 (maximal impairment for the six main joints). The reliability
and validity of the HJHS have been established before [2,3].
Functional Independence Score for Haemophilia (FISH)
The FISH was developed to provide an instrument to assess the functional
independence of patients with haemophilia, using an objective, performance-based
assessment instrument [4]. The FISH measures the patient’s independence in
performing activities of daily living (grooming and eating, bathing, dressing),
transfers (chair and floor) and mobility (walking and step climbing). Each function
is graded from 1 to 4 depending on the amount of assistance the patient needs in
performing the function (1: unable to perform; 2: able to perform with
assistance/aid; 3: able to perform, but not like other healthy individuals; 4:
performs like other individuals). Total score ranges from 0 (functionally fully
dependent) to 32 (functionally fully independent). The reliability, validity and
responsiveness to change have been established earlier [5].
Six minute walking test (6MWT)
The 6MWT is a valid and reliable measure of functional walking ability [6] and has
been used in the evaluation of various clinical populations. The test was performed
according to the guidelines of the American Thoracic Society, including
standardized encouragements [7]. The 6MWT has shown to be feasible for use in
children with chronic conditions affecting the musculoskeletal system, such as
haemophilia, juvenile arthritis and spina bifida [8]. The outcome of the six minute
walk test is total distance covered in 6 minutes and this was also expressed as
percentage of predicted by comparing it to established reference values [9]. In
addition, heart rate was measured by a Polar heart rate monitor (Polar F1; Polar
Electro, Kempele, Finland). Heart rate in beats per minute (bpm) was obtained
immediately before and after the 6MWT. Post exercise heart rates were also
expressed as percentage of predicted maximum for age (i.e. 220 - age).
65
Child Health Questionnaire 50 parent form (CHQ-50)
The CHQ-50 is a generic health outcome measure (questionnaire) for children
containing a physical-, behavioural-, and emotional health scale [10,11]. For this
study three subscales were used for testing construct validity, specifically, physical
function (PF), behaviour (BE) and mental health (MH). Scoring was performed
according to the users manual [10], and possible scores range from 0 (worst health)
to 100 (best health) for each subscale.
Statistics
Data analysis was performed using SPSS 17.0 (Chicago, Il, USA). Quantitative
descriptive statistics were used to present demographic and clinical data of the
patients as well as scores of the PedHAL, FISH and 6MWT.
Internal consistency, the extent to which items in a scale are
intercorrelated, was determined by Chronbach’s alpha. A Cronbach’s alpha of 0.70
to 0.95 is proposed to be acceptable [12]. Higher values (>0.95) are indicative of
redundancy, whereas lower values (<0.70) indicate lack of correlation.
Construct validity of the PedHAL was assessed by calculating associations
between PedHAL and FISH, HJHS and 6MWT variables using Pearson or
Spearman correlation coefficients where appropriate. We expected to find at least
moderate correlations between the PedHAL on the one hand and HJHS, FISH and
CHQ-PF on the other hand. We anticipated finding a low association of the 6MWT
with the PedHAL sum score. However, moderate associations were expected to be
found between the 6MWT and PedHAL domains that mainly contain items on
lower extremity function (“sitting kneeling standing” and “functions of the legs”).
Furthermore we expected to find no associations between the PedHAL and the
behaviour and mental health scales of the CHQ. Finally, we expected to find lower
PedHAL scores than in the Dutch sample we studied earlier [1].
Reproducibility of the PedHAL was assessed by relative agreement
(intraclass correlation coefficient; ICC) as well as absolute agreement (Limits of
Agreement; LoA) [12]. Relative test-retest reliability of the PedHAL was
determined by the intra-class correlation coefficient (ICC2,1) using the absolute
agreement definition [13]. The 95% confidence intervals for the ICCs were
calculated. Values of test-retest reliability of a measurement higher than 0.70 were
considered as acceptable reliability [12]. The systematic error (the mean of
difference scores of test and retest) was checked by a Wilcoxon signed rank test.
Responsiveness of the PedHAL and HJHS to a physical therapy
intervention (i.e. to detect improvements following treatment) was quantified by
66
the standardized response mean (SRM) and is calculated by dividing the mean
change in scores by the standard deviation of these changes [14]. The SRM
estimates clinically relevant change in the measure by standardizing relative to the
between-patient variability in change scores [15]. SRM values of 0.2, 0.5, and 0.8
represent small, moderate, and large values for responsiveness, respectively [15].
The SRM has been widely used as an index of responsiveness for health status
measurement tools, both in haemophilia [5] and other musculoskeletal disorders
[16,17]. The significance level was set at 0.05.
RESULTS
Patient characteristics
We studied 29 consecutive patients at the Buzias rehabilitation centre. Ten patients
only visited the clinic for a short period, of which 3 patients stayed three days or
longer but left the clinic without rehabilitation resulting in twenty-two patients
completing baseline assessment and a PedHAL retest. Nineteen patients completed
the rehabilitation programme with pre and post measurements. Patient
characteristics are shown in Table 1. Twenty-five patients had haemophilia A and 4
patients had haemophilia B. The mean age of the patients was 13.2 years (SD 4.0,
range 5.6 – 17.9). Twenty-five children had severe haemophilia (FVIII/IX < 1%),
and 4 had moderate haemophilia (FVIII/IX 1-5 %). Age was similar across severity
(severe 13.3 ± 4.1 versus moderate 12.7 ± 4.4, p=0.79). All patients were treated
on-demand, including three children using home-treatment/home-infusions. Nearly
half of the patients had a knee as a target joint, one third had an elbow as target
joint, while target joints in ankles were less frequent.
Score distribution and internal consistency
It took patients and parents approximately 10 minutes to complete the PedHAL and
there were no missing values in any of the PedHAL forms. Scores of the PedHAL
are shown in Table 2. The PedHAL sum scores ranged from 19.2 to 99 with a
median score of 83.5 (IQR 47.9-90.5). In the domains ‘Functions of the arms’ and
‘self-care’ respectively 45% and 55% of the respondents scored the best possible
score (i.e. the activity that never was a problem). The score distribution of domains
and sum scores are visualized by box and whisker plots in Figure 2.
Also noteworthy is the high proportion of activities that were reported to be
not applicable (N/A) in the domains of household activities (27 %) and sports and
leisure activities (48 %). The internal consistency values (Chronbach’s alpha) of
67
the domains were high (>0.9) with exception of ‘use of transportation’ and
‘functions of the arms’ (0.65 and 0.77 respectively).
Table 1. Patient characteristics and test results (n=29)
Variable Mean (SD) * Number (%)
Patient characteristics
Age (years) 13.2 (4.0)
Heigth (m) 1.54 (0.18)
Weigth (kg) 47.0 (17.3)
Days lost from work/school past 6 months 16.4 (10.3)
Current inhibitor 3 (10%)
Type and severity
A, severe 21 (72%)
A, moderate 4 (14%)
B, severe 4 (14%)
Home treatment 3 (10%)
Target joints 1.9 (1.2)
left ankle 3 (10%)
right ankle 8 (28%)
left knee 13 (45%)
right knee 14 (48%)
left elbow 9 (34%)
right elbow 11 (38%)
Joint bleeds past 6 months (Nr) 3.5 (2.0-6.5)
Test results
PedHAL (0-100; 100=best possible score) 83.5 (47.9-90.5)
HJHS (0-124; best possible score is 0) 11.0 (4.0-23.5)
FISH (0-32; best possible score 32) 32.0 (25.0-32)
CHQ-PF (0-100; best possible score is 100) 66.7 (51.4–87.5)
CHQ-BE (0-100; best possible score is 100) 60.0 (30.0-60.0)
CHQ-MH (0-100; best possible score is 100) 75.0 (65.0-85.0)
6MWD (m) 366.2 (83.8)
6MWD (%predicted for age) 55.3 (26.3)
Heart rate before 6MWT (beats/minute) 87 (11)
Heart rate after 6MWT (beats/minute) 112 (15)
Heart rate after 6MWT (%predicted for age) 54 (7)
* Joint bleeds, PedHAL, HJHS, FISH and CHQ-PF, CHQ-BE, CHQ-MH are
shown as median (IQR).
68
Table 2. Normalised Score-distribution and internal consistency of the PedHAL
Range
Domain Median IQR Min Max
%
Ceiling
% Items
N/A
Crohnbach's
alpha
Sitting kneeling standing 76.0 32.0-91.0 10.0 100.0 32 5 0.94
Functions of the legs 74.5 42.7-86.1 0 100.0 27 8 0.96
Functions of the arms 86.7 95.0-76.7 15.0 100.0 45 8 0.77
Use of transportation 80.0 43.3-100.0 0 100.0 11 13 0.65
Self care 97.5 72.2-100.0 34.3 100.0 55 3 0.94
Household activities 80.0 65.0-100.0 0 100.0 31 27 0.95
Leisure and sport 65.0 30.2-90.0 0 100.0 17 48 0.96
Sum score 83.5 47.9-90.5 19.2 99.4 34 14 0.98
Construct validity
The PedHAL showed a moderate negative correlation with the HJHS scores (rho=0.59) and a moderate positive correlation with FISH scores (rho = 0.65).The scores
of the PedHAL correlated significantly with the subscale “physical functioning” of
the CHQ-50 (rho = 0.40). Scores of the PedHAL domains showed non-significant
and low correlation with the CHQ-50 subscales “behaviour” and “mental health”
(rho =0.36 and 0.16 respectively). The 6 MWT (as % predicted for age) did not
correlate significantly to the PedHAL sum score (rho =0.13). Moreover, no
correlations were found between the 6MWT and the domains “sitting kneeling
standing and “functions of the legs” (rho=0.12 and 0.09 respectively).
Reproducibility
For the test-retest analysis, 22 forms were available. The interval between test and
retest was 3 days in all cases. The results of the test retest analysis for the PedHAL
can be appreciated from Table 3. Reproducibility, as assessed by a Wilcoxon
signed rank order test, showed no differences on the level of domain and sum score
of the PedHAL with exception of “sitting kneeling standing” which was somewhat
higher on the retest occasion. ICC’s ranged from 0.68 for “functions of the arms”
to 0.99 for “household activities”. The ICC for the sum score was good (0.95). The
limits of agreement ranged from 17.5 for “sitting kneeling standing” to 77.7 for
“household activities” for the domains and was 17.4 for the sum score.
69
PedHAL Scores
PedHAL domain
SKS LEGS ARMS TRANS SELFC HOUSEHLEISPO SUM
N
or m al is ed S
co re 0
20
40
60
80
100
Figure 2. PedHAL scores according to domains and sum score (n=29). SKS, Sitting kneeling
standing; LEGS, functions of the legs, ARMS; functions of the arms; TRANS, use of
transportation; SELFC, self-care; HOUSEH, household tasks; LEISPO, Leisure activities and
sports; SUM, sum score. The horizontal bar in the middle of the boxes is the median. For the
elbows the median is zero and falls together with the 25th percentile. The whiskers represent the 5th
and 95th percentile and dots represent outliers.
Responsiveness
Nineteen patients followed a conventional short rehabilitation program at Buzias
rehabilitation centre. Rehabilitation comprised of a programme with a median
duration of 2 weeks (range 1-4). Therapy sessions were performed with a median
frequency of 5 times per week (range 5-7) and had a median duration of 120
minutes (range 90-120). Therapy sessions were tailored for each patient and
comprised several modes of therapy. Therapy consisted of hydrotherapy (86%),
electrical stimulation (33%), ultrasound (14%) and massage (10%). Reported goals
of therapy were gaining strength (100%), flexibility (95%) balance (71%) and
proprioception (57%). The physician rated health status as being improved in 16/19
patients. Nine patients were rated as “a little better”, 7 as “better”, 1 as “about the
same”, and 1 patient was rated as being “worse”, compared to before treatment. For
70
1 patient this data was missing. Table 4 shows the mean values of PedHAL and
HJHS before and after rehabilitation at the Buzias rehabilitation centre in nineteen
patients. Median HJHS scores decreased significantly, and there was a SRM of 0.9. The PedHAL pre and post treatment was similar. The mean change in scores
was positive (improvement) in four domains of the PedHAL and negative
(deterioration) in four domains. The calculated SRM’s for the PedHAL were small
with the largest values for “sitting kneeling standing”.
71
72
73
DISCUSSION
This study describes the psychometric properties of the PedHAL as a measure of
functional health status of Romanian children with haemophilia, who are not on
intensive replacement therapy. Testing of the PedHAL in 29 consecutive patients
with impairments at joint levels and function showed good construct validity. In
general, test-retest reliability at the cohort level (ICCs) was good. Alternatively,
test-retest agreement of the PedHAL (LOA) showed substantial variability in
scores with repeated testing, which makes it less suitable to measure small
improvements in functional ability (e.g. due to rehabilitation) at the individual
patient level. Romanian Children with haemophilia clearly show impairments in
joint health as well as functional ability based on objective measures and selfreport.
Score distribution and internal consistency
PedHAL domain and summary scores measured in this population of Romanian
children were considerably lower (20-30 points) than in the Dutch children on
intensive factor replacement therapy. Despite their young age, the Romanian
patients perceived considerable limitations in their functional activities as is
reflected by a median score of 83.5 (IQR 47.9-90.5). In contrast the majority of
items (55%) in the domain “self-care” were scored as ’never a problem’. This
indicates that some items in that domain are not problematic in this population and
do not contribute to discriminating patients. In addition there were a high number
of activities that were reported to be not applicable (N/A) in the domains of
household activities and leisure and sports activities (27 and 48% respectively).
Specific items with a high number of NA scores (>30%) and high proportion
(>50%) of highest possible scores (ceiling effect) are marked in Appendix I. Future
studies should confirm if these items should be retained in the PedHAL or if they
are to be omitted. Given the small population that was studied as well as the
possible cultural influence on item relevancy, we consider it too early to perform a
rigorous item reduction procedure of the PedHAL at this moment.
Values for internal consistency of the domains were very high
(Chronbach’s alpha = 0.94-0.98) and lower for the domains “functions of the arms”
with exception of “use of transportation” (Chronbach’s alpha = 0.77 and 0.65
respectively). Lower values for internal consistency for health status indexes are
not an indicator of unreliability because a priori there is no assumption made for
the homogeneity of the items [18]. Rather it pinpoints the differential effect that
haemophilia can have on functional ability. Higher values for internal consistency
74
(>0.95), on the other hand, may be an indicator of redundancy of items [12]. For
the PedHAL this might be the case for the domains “functions of the legs” and
“leisure and sport” as well as for the sum score. This means that in these domains
some items could be omitted without profoundly affecting the reliability of these
domains.
Construct validity
We addressed construct validity by correlating PedHAL scores with three subscale
scores of the CHQ-50, joint health (HJHS), functional independence (FISH) and
walking ability (6MWT). As expected, we found moderate associations of the
PedHAL with joint health (HJHS) (rho=-0.59) which was similar to earlier findings
in a Dutch sample (rho = 0.59) [1]. The difference in the direction of the
association between the PedHAL and joint health in these two studies is due to the
normalization of joint health scores in the Dutch patient sample which reverses the
scoring. The association between PedHAL and functional independence (FISH)
was a novel comparison and showed moderate association (rho=0.65). This is
consistent with findings of Poonnoose et al. [5] who found a correlation of -0.66 of
the FISH and adult HAL. The difference in direction of the association was caused
by the reversed coding and normalization applied for the PedHAL in this study,
compared to raw scores in the study of Poonnoose.
We did not find a significant correlation between PedHAL scores and
6MWT. This could be explained by the fact that the 6MWT only measures one
aspect of the patient’s functional ability (i.e. walking ability). This finding is
inconsistent with the study of van Genderen et al. who found low to moderate
associations between the HAL and performance tests (e.g. 50 meter walking test) in
adults [19]. Furthermore, it was somewhat surprising to see that the 6MWT and
the domain “functions of the legs” did not correlate significantly. When revisiting
the data of the heart rate monitoring during the 6MWT, we observed that in general
the exercise intensity of the 6MWT was low (54% of expected maximal heart
rate). The heart rate after the 6MWT was on average 112 bpm (SD 15) and showed
large variation with values ranging from 88 to 145 bpm. Consequently, there was
considerable variation in the increase in heart rate during the test (median increase
of 23 bpm; IQR=13-35 bpm). These findings suggest that the walking speed
during the 6MWT has never reached an intensity that resulted in reaching a
maximal cardio-respiratory response. Apart from differences in functional ability
there may also have been differences in the motivation of the participants to
achieve a maximal performance during the test. This might have hampered finding
75
associations between the 6MWT and the domain “functions of the legs”.
Additionally, only 4 items of the domain “functions of the legs” really concern
functional walking ability and this may be too little to result in a correlation of the
6MWT with that total domain.
As expected, a significant association was found between the PedHAL and
the physical function domain of the CHQ-50 (rho=0.40). Although significant, one
would expect a slightly higher association between the PedHAL and the physical
function domain of the CHQ-50. For example, in Dutch children, an association of
0.57 was found [1]. We have no clear explanation for this discrepancy, however it
could be speculated that there are cultural differences in the way parents or
caregivers rate their child’s functional ability.
In addition, PedHAL scores did not correlate with the subscales
“behaviour” and “mental health” of the CHQ-50 which confirms the physical
nature of the PedHAL domains. In summary, these results are in line with earlier
findings in a Dutch cohort of children on intensive factor replacement therapy and
provide further evidence for the construct validity of the PedHAL applied in
children with on-demand therapy.
Reproducibility
Group scores of the PedHAL for test and retest were similar for sum and domain
scores, except for “sitting kneeling standing” which showed slightly higher scores
on the retest occasion. Furthermore reproducibility of the PedHAL was assessed by
relative agreement (ICC) as well as absolute agreement (LOA) [12]. Although the
ICC values were high for the entire scale, as well as for the domains “functions of
the legs” and “sitting kneeling standing”, they were somewhat lower for the
domains “functions of the arms” and “self-care”. Because ICC values are partly
dependent on the distribution of the data, the lower ICC values could be the result
of the large proportion of patients scoring the best possible score for many items in
these domains (45 and 55% respectively). The consequence of these lower ICC
values is that it may be more difficult to distinguish patients e.g. with more or less
severe disease based on the sole scores on these domains only [12].
LOA values found in this study were considerably higher than those found
in a Dutch cohort [1]. The low LOA values in that study were most probably due to
the ceiling effect in that population. The higher LOA values in this study show that
there is some test-retest variability in scores that has to be taken into account. LOA
values of around 20% of the scoring range are not uncommon for health status
questionnaires [20,21]. This observation suggests that individual changes in scores
76
within the limits of agreement may reflect day-to-day sampling variability and not
true clinical change. The clinical relevance of this finding is that if an individual
(stable) patient completes the PedHAL twice, then there is a probability of 95%
that the second score will be about 15-20 points higher or lower than the first
occasion. Only if a change of this magnitude is smaller than the minimal important
change (which seems questionable but has yet to be determined) the questionnaire
could be useful for individual patient management [12].
Responsiveness
The HJHS was somewhat more responsive to the short rehabilitation programme
than the PedHAL. The scores on the PedHAL were not different pre and post
treatment. This could be explained by the relatively short period of rehabilitation
which may have resulted in only minor improvements in the functional status of
these children. Additionally, the recall period of one week also includes a part of
the treatment period in which gains could have been made. Already from the data
of the test-retest (i.e. LOA for the sum score of 17.4 points) one can observe
substantial improvements in functional ability have to be made before one can
conclude that there is a “real” change.
Limitations
There are some limitations to this study. Firstly, most children in this study were
older than 8 years. Therefore we lack data on younger children. Additional work
needs to be done to evaluate the psychometrics in that age group. Secondly, general
advice for psychometric analyses is sample sizes of at least 50 patients [12]. Due to
time and budget constraints we were not able to include more patients in this study.
This emphasizes the importance of global and multiple centre collaborations with
regards to the studying outcome in haemophilia patients. Thirdly, the PedHAL is
expected to be subject to cultural differences, making some items more or less
appropriate for different cultures. This could especially be true for the items in the
domains household activities, leisure and sports and transportation. The scoring of
the PedHAL now omits ‘not applicable’ (N/A) items from the normalized score.
The exact consequence of large numbers of N/A’s is not clear at this moment, but it
could be anticipated that future versions of the PedHAL may pose a limit to the
number of N/A’s (e.g. <20%) of the PedHAL to be considered valid.
77
Clinical implications
From a clinical perspective, the interpretability of the PedHAL scores has been
improved by reporting performance in several subpopulations with clearly different
levels of functional health status [12]. We emphasize that when using the PedHAL
to track progress for the individual patient, large improvements have to be seen in
order to be sure that progress falls outside the natural variation. This is especially
true for the domain scores. The PedHAL is not unique in this regard, this is a
common “flaw” of health status measures and is not easily solved [22]. The
PedHAL could however be used qualitatively to highlight problematic activities for
the individual patient. Finally, the absence of perfect correlations between the
different instruments used in this study (FISH, HJHS, PedHAL, 6MWT) highlights
the fact that they are measuring different aspects of physical functioning. We
therefore fully agree with Beeton et al. [23] who state that a combination of
impairment measures, both clinical and investigative, self-report- and performancebased functional activities is required to fully assess the impact of haemophilia on
the musculoskeletal system.
Future research
We propose that the PedHAL could be improved by removing some of its
redundancy to further improve its reliability. Reducing the redundancy of this
instrument by deletion of activities may come with a cost of losing content validity.
This issue has to be addressed too. Furthermore the content may has to be adapted
in some way to make it cultural appropriate when introduced elsewhere. Possibly,
the eventual PedHAL will consist of a “common trunk” and additional culture
specific activities. We encourage further refinement of this tool by international
collaborators to improve the outcome evaluation of the children with haemophilia
around the world.
Conclusion
The PedHAL showed good construct validity. In general, test-retest reliability at
the cohort level was good, whereas test-retest agreement of the PedHAL showed
substantial natural variation in scores with repeated testing. This implies that the
PedHAL, as well as many other health status measures, at this moment may be
more appropriate for research purposes than for individual patient monitoring in
clinical practice. Further adaptation of the PedHAL could enhance this test-retest
agreement which might enhance its responsiveness to change in the individual
78
patient. Romanian children with haemophilia have significant impairments in joint
health and function based on objective and self-report measures.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
This study was supported by an unrestricted grant from Pfizer. We are grateful to
all the patients and parents that were willing to participate in this study.
Furthermore we are indebted to Professor Radu Vilau for high quality translations
of all the study documents and supplemental material. We thank Miss Bianca Rusei
(physiotherapist) for her assistance with the measurements for this study.
79
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82
APPENDIX I: PedHAL
Question:
In the previous week, did you have any difficulty, due to haemophilia, with:
Scoring and recoding:
Answering options Score Recode
N/A 8 0
Impossible 1 6
Always 2 5
Usually 3 4
Sometimes 4 3
Almost never 5 2
Never 6 1
Normalization of score:
Domain Normalization
Sitting/kneeling/standing 100-((∑1-10 – valid) * (100/(5*valid)))
Functions of the legs 100-((∑11-21 – valid) * (100/(5*valid)))
Fuctions of the arms 100-((∑22-27 – valid) * (100/(5*valid)))
Use of transportation 100-((∑28-30 – valid) * (100/(5*valid)))
Self care 100-((∑31-39 – valid) * (100/(5*valid)))
Household tasks 100-((∑40-42 – valid) * (100/(5*valid)))
Leisure activities and sports 100-((∑43-53 – valid) * (100/(5*valid)))
“valid” = number of items scored within the specific domain.
Items with “n/a” responses are to be considered not valid
Items of the PedHAL:
Sitting/kneeling/standing
1. Sitting down (e.g. on a chair or couch)
2. Sitting on the ground (e.g. when watching television or playing)
3. Standing up from a chair with arm rests
4. Standing up from a chair without arm rests **
5. Kneeling/squatting (bending your knees)
83
6. Squatting for long periods (knees not touching the ground)
7. Bending over forwards
8. Standing still for a short period (less than 10 minutes; e.g. waiting in a queue in
a shop)
9. Standing still for longer periods (from 10 minutes to 1 hour)
10. Standing still for very long periods (more than 1 hour)
Functions of the legs
11. Walking short distances (less than 10 minutes) **
12. Walking longer distances (from 10 minutes to 1 hour)
13. Walking long distances (more than 1 hour)
14. Walking on an uneven surface (e.g. a bumpy road, high curbs, doorsteps)
15. Walking on a soft surface (e.g. on the beach)
16. Strolling (e.g. a day at the zoo)
17. Running (e.g. to catch the bus, or catch up to a friend)
18. Jumping (onto/off something)
19. Walking up stairs (a whole stairway is around 14 steps)
20. Walking down stairs
21. Walking or riding up a small hill or slope without help
Fuctions of the arms
22. Carrying large or heavy objects with two hands (e.g. a big box of toys, a pile of
books)
23. Stretching to reach something above your head (such as a high shelf)
24. Fine hand movements (e.g. picking up Lego, playing computer games) **
25. Writing (such as schoolwork or homework)
26. Leaning on your arms
27. Shaking hands with someone **
Use of transportation
28. Cycling
29. Getting in and out of the car **
30. Using public transport (bus, train, metro, tram)
Self care
31. Drying your entire body **
32. Putting on a t-shirt, jumper or sweater, etc. **
84
33. Putting on trousers **
34. Putting on shoes and socks **
35. Wiping your bottom after using the toilet **
36. Fastening a hood or doing up the top button on your jacket **
37. Buttering bread or making a sandwich **
38. Unscrewing the lid from a bottle of water, juice, etc. **
39. Brushing your teeth **
Household tasks
40. Chores in the house (e.g. making your bed, cleaning your room, setting the
table)
41. Outside chores (e.g. putting the rubbish out, washing the car)*
42. Other household chores (running errands, walking the dog)*
Leisure activities and sports
43. Going out and dancing (theatre, museum, cinema, pub, disco)
44. Playing outside, alone or with others
45. School sports: exercises and gymnastic equipment
46. School sports: athletics (e.g. long jump)*
47. School sports: ball sports (volleyball, softball)*
48. Playing non-contact team sports (e.g. volleyball, basketball)*
49. Playing contact team sports (e.g. water polo, soccer)*
50. Individual non-contact sports (e.g. tennis, cycling)
51. Individual contact sports (judo, karate, boxing, kickboxing)*
52. Taking part in a sports event over the course of several days (e.g. swimming,
walking, cycling or a sports tournament)*
53. Going to school camp or summer camp
Legend:
* >30% of the patients responded with “not applicable” to this item
** >50% of the patients scored the highest possible score for this item
Chapter 5
Habitual Physical Activity in Dutch
Children and Adolescents with
Haemophilia
Groen, W.G.
Takken, T.
Van der Net, J.
Helders, P.J.M.
Fischer, K.
Haemophilia. 2011 May 4. Epub ahead of print
86
SUMMARY
For patients with haemophilia, a physically active lifestyle is important to maintain
musculoskeletal health and to prevent chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular
disease. Therefore, we studied physical activity levels, in Dutch children and
adolescents with haemophilia as well as its association with aerobic fitness and
joint health.
Forty-seven boys with haemophilia (aged 8–18) participated. Physical
activity was measured using the Modifiable Activity Questionnaire (MAQ) and
was compared with the general population. Aerobic fitness was determined using
peak oxygen uptake per kilogram body mass (VO2peak/kg). Joint health was
measured using the Haemophilia Joint Health Score (HJHS). Associations between
physical activity, joint health and aerobic fitness were evaluated by correlation
analysis.
Subjects were 12.5 (SD 2.9) years old, had a Body Mass Index (BMI) of
19.5 (SD 3.1; z-score 0.5) and a median HJHS score of 0 (range 0-6). Cycling,
physical education and swimming were most frequently reported (86%, 69% and
50% respectively). Children with severe haemophilia participated significantly less
in competitive soccer and more in swimming than children with non-severe
haemophilia. Physical activity levels were similar across haemophilia severities
and comparable to the general population. VO2peak/kg was slightly lower than
healthy boys (42.9±8.6 vs. 46.9±1.9 mL/kg/min; p=0.03). Joint health, aerobic
fitness and physical activity showed no correlation.
Dutch children with haemophilia engaged in a wide range of activities of
different intensities and showed comparable levels of physical activity to the
general population. Aerobic fitness was well preserved and showed no associations
with physical activity levels or joint health.
87
INTRODUCTION
Children with chronic disease are notoriously at risk for a physically inactive
lifestyle due to realistic or perceived barriers [1]. Children with haemophilia may
be no exception to this notion. An active lifestyle is important because it has
numerous health benefits, especially for primary and secondary prevention of
chronic diseases (e.g., cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, hypertension,
obesity, depression and osteoporosis) and premature death [2]. For patients with
haemophilia physical activity even has additional benefits for musculoskeletal
health including an increase in range of motion [3], reduction of the number of
joint bleeds [4] and improvement of strength and proprioception [5]. The need for a
physical active lifestyle in patients with haemophilia is further highlighted by the
finding that bone mineral density in children with severe haemophilia (FVIII/IX <
1%) is lower than in normal subjects [6].
Currently a positive trend is observed in which children with haemophilia
are increasingly encouraged to participate in physical activities and sports [7,8].
For example a survey of Dutch adults with haemophilia showed that those on
prophylactic treatment had a higher proportion was active in swimming and
cycling [9]. In addition, it was noted that the attitude towards sports among patients
with haemophilia has improved, and that the range of practiced sports has
increased, most likely due to improved medical treatment [7]. Despite the increased
participation in sports, aerobic fitness of children with haemophilia is still reduced
compared to healthy peers [10].
One explanation for reduced aerobic fitness could be reduced participation
in vigorous activities by children with, especially severe, haemophilia, as has been
reported for children with Cystic Fibrosis (CF) [11]. Until now, no studies have
looked in detail into the intensity level of self-reported activities in children with
haemophilia as well as its relationship with aerobic fitness. Recently, Buxbaum et
al. reported decreased self-efficacy scores compared to healthy children [12]. The
authors however did not report on the association of intensity of exercise to direct
aerobic fitness.
Therefore, the present study was aimed at 1) describing type and intensity
of physical activity, in children and adolescents with haemophilia, and 2) assessing
the relationship between physical activity, joint health, and aerobic fitness.
88
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Subjects
109 Patients were contacted directly or by phone to participate in this study. Fortyeight (44%) agreed to participate and 1 boy was excluded from analyses post hoc,
after being diagnosed with an unspecified muscular disorder. Eventually, fortyseven children between 8 and 18 participated in this study, performed in summer
and fall of 2006. Twenty-one suffered from severe, 7 from moderate, and 19 from
mild haemophilia. The patients were all treated at the Van Creveldkliniek,
University Medical Center Utrecht, the Netherlands. All children with severe
haemophilia, as well as 4 with moderate haemophilia were on a prophylactic
treatment regime while the others were treated on-demand. None of the patients
had an active bleed at the time of testing and patients with moderate and severe
haemophilia received prophylactic treatment in the 24 h preceding testing. All
subjects and their parents were fully informed and informed consent was obtained.
The study protocol was approved by the Ethical Review Board of the University
Medical Center, Utrecht.
Joint Health and anthropometrics
Joint health of ankles, knees and elbows was measured by the Haemophilia Joint
Health Score (HJHS version 1.0). This instrument has been developed and
validated recently by the International Prophylaxis Study Group (IPSG)[13]. The
HJHS was designed as a more sensitive version of the orthopaedic joint score by
Gilbert [14], it consists of eleven items for all six joints (swelling, swelling
duration, muscle atrophy, axial alignment, crepitus, flexion loss, extension loss,
instability, pain, strength and gait) and global gait. The scoring scale ranges from 0
to 144 with a score of zero representing best possible joint health. All the
measurements of the HJHS were performed by two senior paediatric physical
therapists. Weight was measured with an electronic scale and height was measured
with a wall-mounted stadiometer. Body mass index (BMI) was calculated as
weight/height2. Height, weight and BMI were compared to Dutch reference values
[15].
Physical activity
Physical activity was measured with the Modifiable Activity Questionnaire
(MAQ). This questionnaire has been shown to be a valid and reliable instrument
for the measurement of habitual physical activity in children [16]. First, subjects
had to indicate in how many and which sports activities they had participated in at
89
a competitive level. Then, all activities in which the child participated at least 10
times during the past year were reported. Patients could also report activities that
were not on the list. For each activity that was indicated, subjects were asked to
provide detailed information on the number of times per month and the average
duration of participation (hours per time) for each activity. The total hours of
activity were summed and expressed as an average of the total hours of activity per
week for the past year (TOT-hrs/week). For each activity, a rough estimate of its
relative intensity was derived by multiplying the average hours per week by the
metabolic cost of that activity (obtained from existing tables by Ainsworth et al.
[17]). Relative intensity was expressed as Metabolic Equivalent Transformation
(MET)-hrs/week. 1 MET is equivalent to the energy expenditure in rest (i.e. sitting
on a chair). The number of hours that subjects engage in vigorous (VIG) activities
(i.e. >6 MET) were calculated and expressed as VIG-hrs/week. The participation
of children in competitive sports was compared with Dutch contemporaries as
provided by the Dutch Social and Cultural Planning Bureau [18].
Physical activity recommendation for the Dutch population
Data of physical activity were compared to that of the general Dutch population at
the time of performing this study [19]. For children under 18 the Dutch
recommendation for Healthy Physical Activity requires one hour of moderate
physical activity (i.e. 5-8 MET) per day [20]. For this study we rated children as
“active” if they had exercised an extended period (the past 12 months), at least 5
days per week, one hour a day at ≥ 5MET. Children were classified “inactive” if
they did not reach the recommended daily norm (i.e. one hour of activity (≥ 5
MET) on one single day of the week. The remaining children were classified as
“semi-active”.
Aerobic fitness test
All subjects performed a graded exercise test using an electronically braked cycle
ergometer (Lode Corrival, Lode BV, Groningen, the Netherlands). The seat height
of the ergometer was adjusted to the patient’s leg length. After 1 min of unloaded
cycling, workload was increased with 15 or 20 Watt (depending on height of the
patient) every minute according to the Godfrey protocol [21]. The test was stopped
when patients were unable to maintain a cadence of 60 revolutions or when they
gave up, despite verbal encouragements. During the test, patients breathed through
a facemask (Hans Rudolph Inc., Kansas City, MO, USA), which was connected to
a calibrated gas analysis system (Cortex-Metamax Cortex-medical GmbH, Leipzig,
90
Germany). This system permits measurement of oxygen uptake (VO2) and carbon
dioxide production (VCO2). Respiratory exchange ratio (RER) was calculated as
VCO2/VO2. Heart Rate (HR) was measured continuously by a three-lead
electrocardiogram (Hewlett-Packard, Amstelveen, the Netherlands).
Peak HR and peak work rate were defined as the highest value measure (10
second intervals). Absolute peak oxygen uptake (VO2peak) was defined by the
average value over the last 30 seconds of the maximal exercise test. Relative
VO2peak (VO2peak/kg) was calculated as absolute VO2peak divided by weight.
Peak values for oxygen uptake and work rate were compared with Dutch reference
values [22].
Statistics
All analyses were performed with SPSS (version 15). Patient characteristics,
height, weight and BMI were expressed as z-scores which reflect the difference
between patients and their age matched healthy peers. These characteristics were
also compared between haemophilia severities using independent samples T-test or
the Mann-Whitney test depending on the distribution of the data. The HJHS
(highly skewed), and MAQ data were compared by the Mann-Whitney test.
Difference in physical activity participation was tested by a Chi square test.
Associations between physical activity and aerobic capacity were calculated by
Spearman correlation coefficient. A p-value less than 0.05 was considered
statistically significant. Data were expressed as means ± standard deviation (SD) or
as median and Interquartile range (IQR) were appropriate.
91
RESULTS
Subjects
Subject characteristics are presented in Table 1. Subjects were 12.5 (SD 2.9; range
8.2-17.4) years old, had a BMI of 19.5 (SD 3.1; Z-score 0.5) and had a median
HJHS score of 0 (range 0-6). Height, weight and BMI did not differ from Dutch
reference values. After adjustment for age by calculating z-scores, only weight was
different across severities: non-severe patients were heavier.
Table 1 : Subject characteristics
Variable Total
(n=47)
Non-severe
(n=26)
Severe
(n=21)
P-value
Age (years) 12.5 ± 2.9 13.2 ± 2.6 11.7 ± 2.9 NS
Height (m) 1.59 ± 0.17 1.65 ± 0.15 1.52 ± 0.17 0.01
z-score 0.2 ± 0.9 0.3 ± 0.8 -0.1 ± 1.0 NS
Weight (kg) 50.8 ± 15.8 56.3 ± 13.4 44.1 ± 16.3 <0.01
z-score 0.5 ± 1.1 0.8 ± 1.1 0.1 ± 1.0 0.04
BMI 19.5 ± 3.1 20.6 ± 2.8 18.3 ± 3.1 0.01
z-score 0.5 ±1.0 0.8 ± 1.1 0.2 ± 0.9 NS
HJHS 0 (0-6) 0 (0-4) 0 (0-6) NS
Legend: Data are shown as means ± SD for all variables except for HJHS which is
shown as median (range). The P-value refers to the comparison between nonsevere and severe patients. NS: not significant.
Physical activity
Thirty-six MAQ questionnaires were adequately completed and used for analysis.
Age and proportion of severe patients did not differ between the patients for whom
a MAQ was available and the other patients. Children with haemophilia reported
engagement in a wide variety of activities. Thirty out of 36 (83%; non-severe n=21;
severe n=15) children indicated to have engaged in one or more activities at a
competitive level. There was no difference between non-severe and severe patients
with regard to the number of sports involved in (1 (IQR 1-3) vs. 1 (IQR 0-2)
respectively; p=0.09). The activities that were participated in at a competitive level
most frequently were: football (n=13; 36%), swimming (n=6; 17%), tennis (n=4;
11%), cycling (n=3; 8%), basketball (n=2; 6%) and track and field (n=2; 6%).
Children with non-severe haemophilia participated more in football than those with
92
severe haemophilia (52% vs. 13%; p=0.04). For the other activities no statistical
difference were found between the groups. The top five (competitive) sports that
boys aged 6-18 in the Netherlands participated in during the same year of study
was: football (58%), swimming (58%), football (indoor; 24%) , running (22%) and
table tennis (19%) [18].
Figure 1 shows all activities that at least two patients participated in during
the last year. The top five consisted of cycling (86%), physical education (69%),
swimming (50%), football (30%) and fitness (19%). A higher proportion of
children with severe haemophilia participated in swimming than those with nonsevere haemophilia (73% vs. 33% respectively, p=0.01). No differences were
found in leisure activity participation for the other activities.
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
90
100
C
yc lin
g Ph ys ica
l e
du ca tio
n Sw im m in g fo ot ba ll Fi tn es s Te nn is W
al kin
g Ba dm in to n Ta bl e te nn is Sk iin
g Ba sk et ba ll Vo lle
yb al l Fo ot ba ll (
in do or )
N
et ba ll Activity
Pa rti
ci pa tio
n in a ct iv iti
es p as t y
ea r (
%
)
Non-severe
Severe
*
Figure 1. Activities children participated in during the past year. Data are shown as percentages of the
total group. Only those activities that were engaged in by more than 2 children are shown. *
Significant difference between severe and non-severe (p = 0.03).
The calculated physical activity-related energy expenditure of past year activities
(n=36) can be appreciated from Figure 2. There were no differences between
haemophilia severity subgroups for total hours per week (8.7±3.8 vs. 8.6±7.8),
MET-hours per week (54.9±30.3 vs. 55.6±53.4) or vigorous-hours per week
(6.2±4.2 vs. 5.4±6.3).
93
Total hours per week
Non-severe Severe
To ta l h
ou rs p er w ee k (h ou rs )
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
MET-hrs/week
Non-severe Severe
M
ET
h rs p er w ee k (M
ET
*h rs )
0
20
40
60
80
100
120
140
160
180
200
VIG-hrs/week
Non-severe Severe
Vi go ro us h ou rs p er w ee k (h ou rs )
0
5
10
15
20
25
Figure 2. Box and whisker plots of Total hours (top) MET-hours (middle) and vigorous hours
(bottom) of physical activity per week for patients with non-severe and severe haemophilia. The
boxes represent the 25th to 75th percentile, the whiskers represent the 5th and 95th percentile and
the dots are outliers.
94
When data of the MAQ were compared to the Dutch public health
recommendations for healthy physical activity, only 27.8% reached the
recommended level of daily physical activity. This is slightly higher than the
general Dutch population of which 21% of the boys (aged 4-17 years) reached this
level [19]. Likewise, the level of inactivity (8%) in boys with haemophilia was
lower than in the general population (12%).
Aerobic fitness
Results of the aerobic fitness test are provided in Table 2. All 47 patients were able
to complete aerobic fitness test without any adverse events. Absolute values of
peak work rate and VO2peak was similar between patients and Dutch reference
values. VO2peak/kg for the total group was slightly lower than Dutch reference
values (42.9 ± 8.6 vs. 46.9 ± 1.9; p=0.03). Peak work rate and peak oxygen uptake
were higher in non-severe than in severe patients.
Relationship between physical activity, aerobic fitness and joint health
No significant correlations were observed between physical activity (TOT-hrs,
MET-hrs and VIG-hrs) and measures of aerobic fitness (absolute and relative
VO2peak as %predicted) or joint health (HJHS). All correlation coefficients were
very low, ranging between -0.27 and 0.28.
95
Table 2: Outcome of the aerobic fitness test and comparison with Dutch reference
values
Total
(n=47)
Non-severe
(n=26)
Severe
(n=21) P-value
RERpeak
RER
1.22 ± 0.16 1.19 ± 0.11 1.26 ± 0.20 NS
Peak Heart Rate (beats/min) 191 ± 11 191 ± 12 190 ± 10 NS
Peak work rate (Watt) 183 ± 75 207 ± 79 151 ± 56 <0.01
% predicted for heigth 108 ± 18 109 ± 19 107 ± 16 NS
Peak work rate/kg (Watt/Kg) 3.6 ± 0.8 3.6 ± 1.0 3.5 ± 0.6 NS
% predicted for height 103 ± 23 102 ± 26 104 ± 19 NS
VO2peak (L/min) 2.18 ± 0.85 2.43 ± 0.86 1.88 ± 0.75 0.03
% predicted for height 94 ± 15 95 ± 15 93 ± 14 NS
VO2peak/kg (mL/kg/min) 42.9 ± 8.6* 42.7 ± 9.8 43.1 ± 7.0 NS
% predicted for age 91 ± 17 90 ± 19 93 ± 14 NS
Legend: * significantly different from Dutch reference values (p = 0.03). NS: not
significant.
DISCUSSION
This cross-sectional study shows that Dutch children engage in a wide range of
activities of varying intensities. Physical activity levels were similar across
haemophilia severities and comparable to the general population. In addition,
children with severe haemophilia participated more in swimming and less in
competitive football than children with non-severe haemophilia. Furthermore,
aerobic fitness was comparable to Dutch reference values with exception of a
slightly reduced oxygen uptake relative to weight. Joint health, aerobic fitness and
physical activity showed no significant association/relation.
The children in this study were as active as the general population. This is
not a common finding in children with chronic disease. Reduced physical activity
levels have been reported in many conditions such as children and adolescents with
Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis [23,24], Cerebral Palsy [25,26] and Spina Bifida [27].
This relatively high level of activity is good news for the patients, as there is
evidence that inactivity in children with haemophilia increases the risk of low bone
mineral density. For example, a study of Tlacuilo et al. showed a significantly
reduced bone mineral density , due to inactivity, in Mexican children with
haemophilia who were treated on-demand (Odds ratio 3.2) [28]. The relatively
96
high level of activity measured in our study, is also good news with regard to the
prevention of other secondary chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease,
diabetes, cancer and so on. So with reduced morbidity of the musculoskeletal
system, as seen in children on prophylaxis, attention may partly shift to healthrelated fitness and prevention of secondary diseases. An increasing positive attitude
towards participation in physical activity will help to reach the goal of keeping
these patients in optimal physical condition. It has to be noted however, that still
the majority of the Dutch children (both healthy and those with haemophilia) do
not meet the public-health recommendations for healthy physical activity [19].
Therefore, continuous efforts of policy makers will be needed to combat the
widespread problem of reduced physical activity among children and adolescents
in the Netherlands.
In children with Cystic Fibrosis decreased aerobic fitness was accompanied
by reduced participation in vigorous activities. Children with CF participated
2.0±2.5 hours of vigorous activities whereas controls spent 3.7±2.8 hours in that
range (p=0.014). However, total hours per week (8.6 vs. 8.5) and MET-hrs/week
were similar (43.4 vs 49.7) [11]. We found distinctly higher values for hours of
vigorous activity than the healthy controls of that study (6.2±4.2 hours in nonsevere and 5.4±6.3 hours in severe patients). This could be explained by the high
number of children that reported cycling. Cycling contributes to the hours of
vigorous activity, as it is rated with an intensity of 8 MET [17].
Participation rates in competitive sports appeared to be low compared to
the general population. Only 13% of the children with severe haemophilia
participated in competitive football, compared to 52% of the non-severe group and
58% of the normal population. Even when leisure activities are taken into account,
only 20% of the children with severe haemophilia participated in football. On the
contrary, of those with severe haemophilia, a large proportion participated in
swimming, and this proportion was notably larger than in children with non-severe
haemophilia (73% vs. 33% respectively). Together these findings seem to indicate
that most children with severe haemophilia in this study may avoid sports with a
relatively high risk of bleeding episodes; however they were participating in
vigorous activities as frequently as the general population. We did not investigate
directly if the patients were satisfied with the sports and activities they were
currently performing. However an earlier study showed that Dutch boys regret that
their parents or their physicians did not allow them to play football [29]. In a recent
study in Dutch children, Köiter et al. found a top 5 of sports to be football,
swimming, tennis, gymnastics, and cardio-fitness. For Dutch contemporaries they
97
found the top-5 to be football, gymnastics, tennis, hockey, and swimming. The
authors suggested that, probably related to sport counselling advice by their
physician, children with haemophilia may have chosen other types of sports
activities [8]. This may well be the case in our population too.
Compared to healthy peers [30], aerobic fitness was well preserved with
the exception of VO2peak/kg body weight. A recent Australian study reported a
similar observation, although the outcome measure used (number of laps achieved
during a shuttle run test) may be less sensitive as the gold standard (VO2peak) [31].
The reduced VO2peak/kg is most probably due to a combination of slightly
lowered absolute values of aerobic capacity and slightly higher values for body
weight. The resulting reduced VO2peak/kg could limit performance in weight
bearing activities, such as running and stair climbing. Therefore, monitoring and
active counselling to reduce body weight in overweight subjects remains an
important aspect in the follow up of the children with haemophilia.
The absence of an association between joint health and aerobic capacity
could be explained by the fact that joint health was nearly optimal in our
population resulting in joint health scores (HJHS scores) that are distributed very
homogeneously (many scores were zero’s). When joints are affected more, we
would anticipate a moderate to strong association with declined physical activity
participation and aerobic fitness. Clearly the boys in this study on intensive
replacement therapy have high levels of joint health. Besides, other factors may
also influencing physical activity participation (e.g. psychosocial variables, socio
economic and cultural factor). The lack of association between physical activity
and aerobic capacity in this study could be explained by the relative rough measure
of physical activity measured over the past year. The self- reported questionnaire
used in this study may not inform us on the precise intensity of the physical activity
that would lead to training effects in these children. Detailed measurement of heart
rate responses to physical activities with heart rate monitors would probably give a
better insight into the precise intensity of physical activities performed and would
most probably lead to better association between physical activity level and aerobic
capacity.
A key question is: how much longer should we restrict children with
haemophilia who are on prophylactic treatment to participate in contact sports like
football? Especially, since recent studies indicate that children with haemophilia on
prophylaxis can safely engage in vigorous activities or high impact sports. For
example Ross et al. showed that children with haemophilia on prophylaxis
participating in high impact sports did not have an increased number of joint
98
bleedings or target joints [32]. In line with this observation, others failed to find an
association between engagement in vigorous activities and bleeding frequency
[33]. These results could indicate that we are being too restrictive in allowing
specific groups of our boys to participate in physical activities. Future studies may
focus on children without prophylactic treatment in order to determine the risks of
(non-)contact physical activities in this population.
Limitations and future directions
The population described in this study comes from one single centre. The exercise
participation of this population may be different from participation rates in patients
treated in other haemophilia treatment centres. Some centres may be more liberal
or more conservative in this regard than others. Although we compared
anthropometrics, aerobic fitness, physical activity levels, and type of activities with
Dutch reference values, we acknowledge the fact that a direct control group of agematched peers would have strengthened this study.
Furthermore, although the MAQ has shown to be reliable and valid, there
is a possibility for recall bias in all physical activity questionnaires [34]. This may
be overcome by the concurrent use of more objective measures of physical activity
related energy expenditure, such as accelerometry. The MAQ however has an
important advantage over accelerometry as it makes clear what type of activity
children were involved in (e.g. high risk / low risk). Because accelerometers
roughly count accelerations of the body’s centre of mass, it is (yet) impossible to
distinguish different activities from the data. This drawback favours the use of
questionnaires in patients with haemophilia. More prospective studies are needed
to elucidate the causal relationship between (types of) physical activities and
bleeding episodes in children with haemophilia. Hopefully this will provide better
insight into the risks that children with haemophilia encounter during the
participation in physical activity.
Conclusion
Dutch children with haemophilia show levels of physical activity that are
comparable to those reported by their healthy peers. However, almost 75% of the
patients were not meeting public health recommendations for healthy physical
activity. Typical recommended activities were performed (cycling, swimming), but
also contact sports such as football. More than 70% of severe patients participated
in swimming and only 20% in football. Aerobic capacity was well preserved and
showed no associations with physical activity levels or joint health.
99
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
The HemoFit study was supported by an unconditional research grant from Baxter
Netherlands. Wim Groen, MSc. was supported by an unrestricted grant from
Pfizer.
100
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Chapter 6
Exercise interventions in patients
with haemophilia: a systematic
review
Groen, W. G.
Takken, T.
Van der Net, J.
Helders, P.J.M.
Fischer, K.
Submitted for publication
104
SUMMARY
Haemophilia has serious consequences for the musculoskeletal system and
functional health status of patients. Exercise might be a useful intervention to
counteract the detrimental effects of haemophilia. The aim of this study is to
systematically review the literature to determine the effectiveness of exercise
interventions in patients with haemophilia.
An extensive search in PubMed, CINAHL, EMBASE, Cochrane and
PEDro was performed up to January 2011. Studies with controlled and
uncontrolled designs were included. Data on study design, study participants,
intervention characteristics and effects were extracted. A best-evidence synthesis,
based on the study design, methodological quality (modified Newcastle-Ottawa
Scale), and significant findings, was performed. Outcome measures used were
reported and grouped into the corresponding level of the International
Classification of Functioning, disability and health (ICF).
Initial search of the databases yielded a total 607 records. After removal of
duplicates and irrelevant items 23 studies were read in full text. After applying our
inclusion criteria 9 studies were included in this review. The studies generically
were classified as low level of evidence and had low methodological quality.
Exercise interventions were poorly described in most studies. The outcome
measures used in most studies often focused on the ICF level “body functions and
structures” and to a lesser extent on the level of “activities”. No study included an
outcome measure on the level of “participation”
Although we observed many positive effects of prescribed exercise
intervention, the methodological quality and level of evidence of the included
studies was low. More high quality intervention studies as well as consensus on a
core-set of outcome measures are needed to strengthen the evidence-base for
exercise for patients with haemophilia.
105
INTRODUCTION
Haemophilia is characterised by repeated joint bleeds, which may eventually lead
to crippling arthropathy. This in turn leads to a circle of deconditioning resulting in
a decrease of physical performance. There are numerous studies showing the
detrimental effects that haemophilia has on various physical functions such as
reduction of muscular strength [1-4], joint flexibility [5], aerobic [6-10] and
anaerobic capacity [2]. These reduced physical functions restrict patients with
haemophilia in the performance of activities of daily living [11,12] and may lead to
a reduced quality of life [13-15]. These negative consequences call for effective
treatments to prevent or (partly) reverse the loss of function. Besides adequate
factor replacement therapy, physical exercise could be of great benefit to these
patients.
Thus far there have been several narrative reports that recommend the use
of exercise and/or physical therapy in the treatment of patients with haemophilia
[16-19]. Additionally some retrospective studies have reported conflicting results
on the effectiveness of physical exercise in haemophilia: For example Harris and
Boggio found that those who regularly performed regular physical exercise (i.e. ≥ 3
days per week) had better joint mobility than those who were less active exercise
[20]. In contrast with Harris and Boggio, Santavirta et al. did not found an effect on
functional ability over a time course of three years in patients receiving physical
therapy [21]. The evidence base of this type of studies in general is limited and
insufficient in today’s ‘evidence based practice’.
It is only recently for the last five years that more rigorous studies have
been performed in this field to show the potential benefits of physical exercise
interventions in haemophilia. Recently, an extensive review was published on this
topic [22], but unfortunately it lacked clear descriptions of exercise intervention
parameters, as well as an explicit evaluation of study quality and an attempt to
systematically summarize the evidence by means of a best evidence approach.
The aim of the current review is to comprehensively present and
systematically evaluate the available evidence regarding exercise training
interventions in haemophilia patients. The specific research questions of this study
are: (1) what exercise interventions are reported, what are their characteristics,
what is their methodological quality and what are the reported effects? (2) What
types of outcome measures are used to assess the effects of these exercise
interventions?
106
METHODS
Search strategy and selection criteria
Publications were selected based on a literature search up to January 2011 using
the PubMed, CINAHL, EMBASE, Cochrane, and PEDro database. Search terms
that were used were: ‘hemophilia’, ‘haemophilia’, ‘coagulopathy’, ‘rehabilitation’,
‘training’, ‘exercise’, ‘exercise therapy’, ‘exercise training’, ‘physical therapy’,
‘physiotherapy’, ‘physical fitness’, ‘aerobic training’, ‘strength training’, and
‘resistance training’ were used. References of the selected papers were tracked and
the related articles function of PubMed was used to find additional publications on
this subject. A first screening of titles and abstracts was performed and irrelevant or
duplicate articles were discarded. The remaining studies were read in full text and
studies were excluded if they did not meet our inclusion criteria. These inclusion
criteria were: (1) patients with haemophilia of any age, including all types
(haemophilia A and B) and severities of disease (mild, moderate and severe), (2)
therapeutic exercise intervention (exercise programmes focusing on muscle
strength, cardiovascular fitness, flexibility or a combination), and (3) inclusion of
outcome measures on the level body functions and structures, activities or
participation according to the International Classification of Functioning disability
and health (ICF [23]). Exclusion criteria were (1) reports published in books, (2)
conference proceedings or abstracts (3) case studies, and (4) retrospective studies.
No publication date or language restrictions were imposed.
Data extraction
Data on study design, study participants, intervention characteristics and effects
were extracted by one author (WG). The outcome measures used in the studies
were categorized using the ICF framework for the description of health [23]. In this
framework, a person’s disability can be considered in terms of impairment on the
body structure of functions level, activity limitations and participation restrictions.
Methodological Quality
The methodological quality of each included study was critically appraised. Each
study was assessed according to the likelihood that bias, confounding and/or
chance may have influenced its results [24]. For this review the methodological
quality of studies was assessed with the Newcastle – Ottawa quality assessment
scale (NOS) for non randomized studies’. This scale is specifically designed to
evaluate the risk of bias in non-randomized studies for systematic reviews and meta
analyses [25]. This scale was modified for the purpose of the study [26] so that it
107
includes items specific for evaluation of exercise training studies (Appendix A).
The score per item is either 1 or 0 resulting in a total score ranging from 0 to 9. In
literature a cut-off value for high versus low quality of 5 [27] or 6 points [28] are
reported. In this review a cut-off value of 5 or higher was chosen for a study to be
high quality. Quality assessment was performed by two independent reviewers
(WG and TT). Whenever there was disagreement consensus was brought by a third
reviewer (JN).
Best evidence synthesis
Because of the heterogeneity, in terms of interventions and outcome measures, a
quantitative synthesis (meta analysis) was impossible. To meet our aim and present
a comprehensive analysis of the available studies we performed a best-evidence
synthesis based on the classification of the quantity, level and quality (risk of bias)
of the included studies.
The quantity of evidence reflects the number of the studies that have been
included in the evidence base. The quality of evidence was determined as outlined
in the previous paragraph. The level of evidence was determined as follows: Each
study design was assessed according to its place in the research hierarchy of the
National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC additional levels of
evidence and grades for recommendations for developers of guidelines) [24]. This
hierarchy reflects the potential of each study included in the systematic review to
adequately answer a particular research question, based on the probability that its
design has minimised the impact of bias on the results [24]. The most appropriate
study design to answer each type of clinical question (intervention, diagnostic
accuracy, aetiology or prognosis) is level II evidence. Level I studies are systematic
reviews of the appropriate level II studies in each case. Study designs that are
progressively less robust for answering each type of question are levels III and IV
[24]. Level II studies are randomised controlled trials. Level III studies are
subdivided in three sublevels: level III-1 are pseudorandomised controlled trials
(e.g. alternate allocation or some other method), level III-2 are comparative studies
with concurrent controls (e.g. non-randomised experimental trial, cohort study),
and level III-3 are comparative studies without concurrent controls (e.g. historical
control study). Level IV studies are case series with either post-test or pre-test/posttest outcomes.
Finally, the evidence base was determined for all outcome measures and
could result in one of the four following components: A (excellent; several level I
or II studies with low risk of bias), B (good; one or two level II studies with low
108
risk of bias or a systematic review / multiple level III studies with low risk of bias),
C (satisfactory; level III studies with low risk of bias), and D (poor; level IV
studies, or level I to III studies with high risk of bias).
RESULTS
Search results and selection of studies
Initial search of the databases (Fig. 1) yielded a total 607 records. Reference
tracking resulted in an additional 4 potentially relevant studies. Consequently, we
excluded 588 records based on title and abstract and/or because they were
duplicate. The remaining studies (n=23) were read in full-text and 14 were
excluded because they did not meet our inclusion criteria: 4 were case studies, 1
was a retrospective study, 3 were abstracts and 6 were not intervention studies.
Eventually, 9 studies in 160 unique patients were included in this review.
Study design and subject characteristics
Of the 9 included studies, five were case series and four were non-randomized
experimental trials. No randomized controlled trials were found on this topic. In
Table 1 the study design and subject characteristics are shown. Of the nonrandomized experimental studies, two had a passive control group consisting of
healthy subjects [29,30], one had a healthy control group who performed the same
programme as patients [31] and one included both an active and passive healthy
control group [32]. Evaluations were performed both before and after the total
training programme for all studies except for the study of Garcia et al. [31] in
which measurements were taken pre and post every single session. The evidence
level of the included case series was level IV (lowest level) and the nonrandomized experimental studies are assigned level III-2 evidence according to the
NHMRC ranking [33]. The number of patients studied was relatively small ranging
from 9 [31,32] to 32 [34]. The age of the patients included in selected studies
ranged between 5 and 62 years old. Four studies concerned patients with
haemophilia-A [29,30,32,35], three studies included both patients with
haemophilia-A or B [34,36,37], and two studies did not report the type of patients
studied [31,38]. The majority of the included patients had severe haemophilia
(n=121; 76%) and fewer patients with moderate or mild haemophilia were included
(n=32; 20% and n=7; 4% respectively). Co morbidities of patients were reported in
two studies [35,38] and included HIV, hepatitis C, diabetes, fibromyalgia,
neurofibromatosis, osteopenia, osteogenesis imperfecta and cancer.
109
Records identified through
database searching (n=607)
-MEDLINE (n=408)
-CINAHL (n=52)
-EMBASE (n=147)
-Cochrane library (n=0)
-PEDRO (n=0)
Additional records identified
through other sources (n=4)
-reference checking (n=4)
-personal files (n=0)
Full-text articles assessed
for eligability (n=23)
14 articles were excluded
- case study (n=4)
- retrospective (n=1)
- abstract (n=3)
- no intervention (n=6)
Studies included in
qualitative synthesis (n=9)
Id en tif
ic at io n Sc re en in g El ig ib ili
ty In cl ud ed Records after removal of duplicate and irrelavant items
(n=23)
Figure 1: Flowchart of study selection procedure
Methodological quality
The methodological quality of the studies was poor with a median score of 2
(Interquartile range 1.5-3) out of 9 (Table 2). Criterion 8 (valid test method used
for measuring physical fitness), was met by all studies. Criterion 1 (selection of a
homogeneous patient group) was met by only five studies [29,30,32,34,35],
criterion 3 (reproducibility of the training program) was also met by five studies
[29,30,34,35,38], and criterion 9 (assessment of quality of life and/or functional
capacity by valid questionnaire) was met by one study [37]. The remaining criteria
(2,4,5,6, and 7; Table 2) were not met by one single study.
110
111
112
113
Table 2: Methodological quality of included studies
Quality criteria*
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Study Total score (0-10)
Greene [34] 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 3
Querol [30] 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 3
Vallejo [35] 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 3
Gomis [29] 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 3
Hilberg [32] 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 2
Hill [37] 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 2
Mulvany [38] 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 2
Garcia [31] 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1
Gurcay [36] 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1
Median (IQR) 2 (1.5-3)
Legend: IQR, Interquarile range. *Quality criteria 1. Selection of the patients intervention
group, 2. Selection of the control group, 3. Reproducibility of the training program, 4.
Registration of training sessions participation, 5. Assessment of outcome, 6. Follow-up,
measurement performed and was long enough, 7. Adequacy of follow-up, 8. Test method
used for measurement physical fitness, 9. Assessment of quality of life and/or functional
capacity. (See appendix A for detailed description of criteria). If a study meets a criterion it
is scored as “1”, otherwise it is scored as “0”.
Intervention characteristics and effects
Detailed characteristics of the exercise interventions are shown in Table 3. Three
studies mainly focussed on promotion of muscular strength [29,30,34] and one
study mainly focused on flexibility [31]. The remaining studies were aimed at
simultaneously improving multiple aspects of health-related physical fitness.
Two interventions were water-based (aquatic training) [31,35] whereas the
other studies were land-based. Programme length varied from 4 to 24 weeks.
Training frequency ranged from 1 to 7 days per week and duration of the sessions
ranged from 15 to 120 minutes. Details on intensity of exercise were reported in
two studies only [35,38]. For strength training, Vallejo et al. [35] used a perceived
exertion of 2 to 7 (out of a maximum score of 10) and Mulvany et al. [38] chose
40-70% of the 1 repetition maximum. For aerobic exercises Vallejo et al. [35]
chose 50 to 75% of the maximal heart rate, whereas Mulvany et al. [38] used 5070% of the maximal heart rate. Supervision was provided by a physical therapist
114
during the entire programme in one study [38], and part of the intervention in two
other studies [36,37]. In one study patients performed the exercises unsupervised
[34] and the remaining studies did not report details about supervision.
The included exercise interventions reported many positive effects. We
will summarize the main findings here according to the ICF levels. A more detailed
description of the effects of the exercise interventions is presented in Table 4. On
the level of “body functions and structures”, five studies reported improved muscle
strength after exercise intervention [29,30,32,34,38], whereas muscle strength
remained unchanged after the home-based training programme of Hill et al. [37].
Positive effects of exercise intervention on joint range of motion were reported in
the studies of Gurcay et al. [36] and Hill et al. [37]. The study of Garcia et al. [31]
showed gains in some joints only. The home-based resistance training of Greene
[34] showed no effect on ROM, however this study was not specifically aimed at
improving ROM but rather on improving muscle strength. The study of Hill et al.
showed no effects of home-based exercise on balance [37] and Hilberg et al.
reported improved performance on most but not all tests of proprioception after
intervention [32].
On the level of “activity”, Gurcay et al. found that a clinical rehabilitation
programme with additional home exercises decreased the level of disability [36],
Hill et al. reported unaltered activity profile as a result of their home-based training
programme [37] and the interventions of Vallejo et al. [35] and Mulvany et al. [38]
resulted in improved functional walking performance. None of the included studies
evaluated the effectiveness of exercise intervention on the level of “participation”.
Complications were reported in two studies: Greene et al. [34] reported that some
patients with bad joint status reported peripattellar pain during exercises, and
Gurcay et al. [36] reported 2 patients developing a joint haemorrhage during the
intervention. One study did not report details about safety [31] and the five
remaining studies report the exercise programme to be fully safe.
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116
117
118
119
120
121
122
Outcome measures used and best-evidence synthesis
Table 5 shows all outcome measures that were used to evaluate the status of the
patient before and after an exercise intervention. A more detailed description of
outcome measures used are shown in appendix B. All studies reported one or more
aspects of “body functions and structures”, four studies reported on an aspect of
“activity” and no studies reported on aspects of “participation”. One study reported
on an aspect of psychosocial functioning [37]. Because no study exceeded the
threshold value of 5 (to be ranked as high quality study), all outcome measures
were assigned the status of a poor evidence base. For example: muscle strength was
the most commonly reported outcome measure and was measured in six studies.
Although the effects seemed consistently positive (5 studies reported improved
muscle strength, and one study reported no change in muscle strength), the low
quality of the studies (Table 2) resulted in a poor body of evidence for this
measure.
Body functions and structures
All studies reported included at least one outcome measure on the level of body
functions and structures. Of 25 reported outcomes on the level of body functions,
nearly half (n=11; 44%) focused on muscle structure or function. Specifically the
following aspects were measured: muscle strength (n=6), muscle diameter (n=2),
muscle electromyography (n=2) and muscle circumference (n=1). Joint function or
structure was also reported frequently (n=7; 28%). Specific aspects that were
measured are: range of motion (n=4), arthropathy (n=1), clinical joint score (n=1)
and joint circumference (n=1). Aspects of balance/proprioception were also
measured but less frequent (n=4; 16%). Specific aspects measured in this area
were: static proprioception, dynamic proprioception, local proprioception and
balance (all reported once). Other outcome measures reported are perceived pain
and aerobic fitness (both reported once). Again, a detailed description of the
outcome measures is presented in appendix B.
Activity
Four studies measured outcomes on the level of activity. In two studies a subjective
activity measure (i.e. self report) was used: the Human activity profile
questionnaire [37] and the Juvenile Arthritis Functional Assessment Report for
Children (JAFAR-C) [36]. In four studies objective measures of activity were used:
the timed sit to stand test [37], a laboratory gait test (Neurocom Balance Master
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long plate) [37], the 6-minute walk test [38] and the 12-minute walk/running test
(Cooper test) [35].
Participation
None of the studies included evaluated outcome on the level of participation
Other
One study included an outcome measure fear of falling with a questionnaire (the
modified falls efficacy scale) [37].
Table 5: Outcome measures used according to ICF levels and best evidence
synthesis
Effect post-training
Outcome measure
Number of
studies
assessed
+
(nr of
studies)
=
(nr of
studies)
-
(nr of
studies)
+/-
(nr of
studies)
Body of
evidence
Body functions and
structures
Arthropathy (x-ray) 1 0 1 0 0 Poor
Clinical joint score (Gilbert
score)
1 1 [36] 0 0 0 Poor
Joint circumference 1 0 0 0 1**[38] Poor
Joint range of motion 4 2 [36,38] 1 [34] 0 1*** [31] Poor
Muscle strength 6 5
[29,30,32,
34,38]
1 [37] 0 0 Poor
Muscle circumference 1 0 0 0 1* [34] Poor
Muscle diameter 2 2 [29,30] 0 0 0 Poor
Muscle electromyography 2 1 [29] 1 [30] 0 0 Poor
Static proprioception 1 1 [32] 0 0 0 Poor
Dynamic proprioception 1 0 0 0 1****
[32]
Poor
Local proprioception 1 1 [32] 0 0 0 Poor
Balance 1 0 1 [37] 0 0 Poor
Perceived pain 2 1 [36] 1 [37] 0 0 Poor
Aerobic capacity 1 1 [35] 0 0 0 Poor
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Table 5: Outcome measures used according to ICF levels and best evidence
synthesis (continued)
Effect post-training
Outcome measure
Number of
studies
assessed
+
(nr of
studies)
=
(nr of
studies)
-
(nr of
studies)
+/-
(nr of
studies)
Body of
evidence
Activity
Gait 1 0 1 [37] 0 0 Poor
Human activity profile
Questionnaire 1 0 1 [37] 0 0 Poor
Timed sit to stand test 1 0 1 [37] 0 0 Poor
Functional ability by
JAFAR-C questionnaire 1 1 [36] 0 0 0 Poor
Functional walking ability 2 2 [35,38] 0 0 0 Poor
Participation
-
Other
Fear of falling by falls
efficacy questionnaire 1 0 1 [37] 0 0 Poor
Legend: +, improvement; =, no effect; -, deterioration; +/-, inconclusive.
* Increased thigh girth (+1cm) in 32 thighs; no change in 28 thighs and decreased (≥ 1 cm) in 4 girths.
** joint circumference were significantly different for the elbows with effect sizes of -0.12 to 0.2. No
differences in joint circumference was reported for the knees. *** Indications for mobility gain in
elbow, knee and ankle joints especially for the first few training sessions. Mobility gains were less in
subsequent training sessions (questionable use of statistics). **** A significant improvement of angle
reproduction of 20 and 40 (but not in 60 an 100 degree angles) in the H compared with the PC
groups was seen in the tests.
DISCUSSION
The aims of this review were to review the literature regarding exercise
interventions in patients with haemophilia, to provide an overview of the
intervention characteristics, the methodological quality and the effectiveness of
these interventions and to review the types of outcome measures used in exercise
interventions for haemophilia patients.
Intervention characteristics
Exercise interventions in haemophilia patients may have several aims. Depending
on type of treatment the focus of exercise interventions is more on improvement of
functional outcome, physical fitness and quality of life. For example in patients
125
with bad joint status exercise may be more directed towards restoring range of
motion, muscle strength and functional ability. On the other hand, in the relatively
unaffected young patients who are on prophylaxis the focus may increasingly be on
prevention of bleeding episodes and cardiovascular disease. Although we observed
many positive effects of prescribed exercise intervention, such as increased muscle
strength, increased joint range of motion and improved functional ability, the level
of evidence for the effectiveness of the exercise interventions for patients with
haemophilia was low. Summarizing the major shortcomings in the studies that have
been reviewed, these are: 1] lack of methodological quality, 2] lack of specificity
of the training goals and 3] lack of physiological criteria to generate a training
response. This underlines the need for methodologists as well as exercise
physiologists aboard of research teams.
Lack of methodological quality mainly comes down on designing proper
prospective, (randomized) controlled trials, preferably with a long wash out period
to be able to fully appreciate the impact of the training intervention. As in many
countries haemophilia care is provided by centralized comprehensive care units,
this should be a realistic aim. Nation wide networks of these centres should enable
researchers to draw enough statistical power to secure valid and meaningful
outcome. Beyond that international consortia of researchers should pull the
resources and this may even result in robust cross cultural results.
A major shortcoming of many studies was the lack of well defined training
goals. Exercise training is specific (e.g. “you gain what you train”), this refers to
the training law that the greatest achievements are reached in the function or
activity that is actually trained. Consequently, the best fitting outcome measure in
relation to that training goal should be chosen. This paradigm should be utilized
more frequently in the design of intervention studies in haemophilia research.
The third shortcoming in many studies is the lack of properly designed training
programmes that adhere to basic principles of exercise physiology. To gain from an
exercise intervention the sessions have to systematically “overload” the body
system so that it is forced to recover from this exercise induced damage or fatigue.
Ideally, this will lead to adaptation processes and the recovery of the body system,
which will result in a higher physical fitness level then before the training session.
The overload principle is a key component of training and can be achieved by
manipulating several aspects of the training. Aspects such as frequency, intensity,
time and type of exercise (referred to as F.I.T.T. factors) define the training dose
and should progress over time because the person is adapting physically to the
increased demands of the training load. The most important factor for eliciting a
126
training response is intensity of training. A training session (aerobic exercise or
resistance training) should exceed a minimum threshold value for intensity to result
in a training response.
A recent position stand of the American College of Sports Medicine
(ACSM) describes the recommendations for the quantity and quality of exercise for
developing cardiorespiratory, musculoskeletal, and neuromotor fitness [39]. With
regard to cardiorespiratory fitness, the ACSM recommends performing either
moderate-intensity (i.e. 64-76% of maximal heart rate) cardiorespiratory exercise
training 5 days per week for a total of ≥150 min per week, vigorous-intensity (7795% of maximal heart rate) cardiorespiratory exercise training for ≥20 min per day
on ≥3 days per week or a combination of moderate and vigorous exercise to
achieve a total energy expenditure of ≥500-1000 MET/min/week [39].
With regard to resistance training, exercising major muscle groups, 2 to 3
times per week, 2-4 sets of 8-12 repetitions using a resistance equivalent to 60-80%
of the individual 1 repetition maximal (1-RM) has shown to be effective for
inducing hypertrophy and improving strength. For novice through intermediate
strength trainers a load of 60-70% of the 1RM is recommended, while experienced
exercisers may work at ≥80% of the 1RM. The selected resistance should permit
the completion of 8-12 repetitions per set or the number needed to induce muscle
fatigue but not exhaustion. Middle aged and older persons staringstarting exercise
may use 10-15 repetitions per set. In older, very deconditioned or frail individuals a
resistance training regimen may begin with lower resistance, perhaps 40-50% of
1RM (i.e.. very light to light intensity). After achieving an acceptable level of
muscular conditioning, older and frail persons can increase the resistance and
perform the exercises as detailed above [39]. Future studies of exercise
interventions in patients with haemophilia should adopt above recommendations
and report on its success in this specific patient population.
Of course, safety of the exercise programme should be a main objective
and we recommend the use of proper equipment and supervision of well-educated
fitness professionals. Exercise programs reviewed in this paper reported very few
complications, especially when patients were treated with prophylaxis during the
training programme. Safety should however not lead to inadequate exercise stimuli
that are of little benefit for the patients. On the contrary however, we recognize the
fact that in highly sedentary patients with poor physical fitness, training sessions
that not meet the recommended volume and intensity as stated above could still be
beneficial to their health, especially by reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease
and premature mortality [40-42]. However to really make substantial gains in
127
physical fitness volume and intensity must be raised to minimum levels and should
progress throughout the training programme.
Uniformity
Patients with haemophilia show positive responses on different exercise
interventions, which support the notion that it may be feasible to design effective
exercise interventions that improve body functions or physical activities in patients
with haemophilia. However, to enhance meaningful comparison among studies and
pooling of study results, much more uniformity is needed with regard to type of
interventions, intensity of exercise interventions and type of outcome measures.
There are a few responsive outcome measures that are able to substantiate gains
from exercise programmes in patients with haemophilia, and there are new
outcome measures that not have been utilized in intervention studies. Functional or
activity based outcome measures seem to increasingly being included in exercise
intervention studies in haemophilia. Four studies published in the past three years
have included a measure of functional activity [31,35,37,38]. In our opinion this is
a positive and much needed paradigm change.
Recently many disease specific instruments for patients with haemophilia
have been developed and tested [43-52]. If haemophilia researchers around the
globe could reach a consensus on selecting outcome measures for exercise training
in patients with haemophilia, then this will greatly help to build an evidence base
regarding the effectiveness of exercise interventions in patients with haemophilia.
An ICF based ‘core setset’ of outcome measures would be very useful for the
haemophilia community. De Kleijn et al. have proposed a core set of outcome
measures based on literature review [53]. In the field of (paediatric) rheumatology,
for instance, the OMERACT and PRINTO initiatives have proven to be successful
ways to selecting the best possible outcome measures (in terms of psychometrics
and feasibility) based on literature and expert opinions in an iterative manner
[54,55]. This procedure might serve as a good example for the haemophilia
community.
Limitations
This review has some limitations. Firstly, our inclusion criteria were quite liberal
with regard to the types of studies being included. Within the field of haemophilia
research on this topic is scarce leaving few other options. A more mature field of
research would enable more specific inclusion criteria and more focussed research
questions (e.g the effectiveness of lower extremity resistance training on functional
128
walking ability). This review should therefore be considered as a motivation for
clinicians and researchers to reconsider the approaches to exercise trials in
haemophilia.
A second limitation is the grouping of outcome measures in the best
evidence synthesis as shown in Table 5. For example, muscle strength was
measured using different methods at different muscle sites but was shown as one
outcome measure. However we do find this approach valuable because it gives a
rough insight into the effectiveness of the exercise training interventions in
haemophilia. When the research field progresses outcome measures could
eventually be grouped into more homogeneous sub-groups. For example, muscle
strength could be subdivided into upper and lower extremity strength, or even into
specific muscles and different forms of muscle strength (isometric muscle strength,
dynamic muscle strength, isokinetic muscle strength).
Conclusions
Although we observed many positive effects of prescribed exercise intervention,
the methodological quality and level of evidence of the included studies was low.
No single RCT could be included. However, evaluating currently available data, it
appears that exercise training interventions for patients with haemophilia are
generally safe and might result in improved physical functioning, however the
current evidence base for the effectiveness of all exercise interventions is poor. The
outcome measures used in most studies often focused on the ICF level “body
functions and structures” and to a lesser extent on the level of “activities”. The
field is in dire need of large, well-controlled trials investigating the effects of
exercise training as an intervention in patients with haemophilia and in a well
defined set of outcome measures that are fit for their job.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
This study was supported by an unrestricted grant from Pfizer.
129
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134
Appendix A: Methodological quality assessment
Modified Newcastle – Ottawa Quality assessment scale cohort studies
1. Selection of the patient intervention group:
patients were from similar diagnose group (homogeneous) (+)
patients scored into functional groups (+)
patient group was heterogeneous (-)
no description of the cohort (-)
2. Selection of the control group
control group were patients (+)
two control groups; patients and healthy subjects (+)
control group were healthy subjects (-)
no control group (-)
3. Reproducibility of the training program
detailed description providing; duration program, frequency, duration session,
trainings intensity (+)
brief description (-)
no description (-)
4. Registration of training sessions participation
reported and sufficient with >75% of training sessions completed (+)
reported and not sufficient with <75% of training sessions completed (-)
not reported (-)
5. Assessment of outcome
independent blind assessment (+)
record linkage (+)
self report (-)
no description (-)
6. Follow-up measurement performed and was long enough.
follow-up was >3months after ending the training program (+)
follow-up was <3months after ending the training program (-)
no follow-up (-)
135
7. Adequacy of follow-up
Complete follow-up (all subjects completed) (+)
< 15% of subjects lost during follow-up, unlikely to introduce bias, and description
provided for those lost (+)
> 15% of subjects lost during follow-up and no description provided for those lost
(-)
No statement (-)
8. Test method used for measurement physical fitness
Valid test method used (+)
brief description of used method (-)
no description of method (-)
9. Assessment of quality of life and/or functional capacity
Validated questionnaire (+)
Briefly described, no questionnaire used (-)
No statement (-)
136
Appendix B: Outcome measures used according to ICF level
Body functions and
structures
Activity Partici
pation
Other
Greene [34] Torque of quadriceps on Cybex machine at
30º/sec; Passive ROM knee (method NR);
Thigh girth; degree of arthropathy (X-ray); no.
of haemarthroses
- - -
Hilberg [32] Muscle strength was measured isometrically in
two positions (leg press and leg extension)
with knees bent in a 70 degree angle on a
strength training apparatus (Schell,
Pautenhausen, Germay). Proprioception was
measured by four tests: 1) one legged stance
on two surfaces (hard and soft ground) and
with two visual conditions (eyes open and
eyes closed). 2) The postural resettling time on
a posturomed platform (Posturomed, Haider
bioswing, Pullenreuth, Germany) which is
displaced 2 cm in a mediolateral direction. The
mean of 5 tests was taken 3) the reproduction
of several knee joint angles (20, 40,60 and 100
degrees knee flexion in random order) which
were first demonstrated passively. Knee angles
were measured by an electric goniometer and
hearing and sight of the participants were
blocked. 4) Tuning fork test; a tuning fork
64Hz is placed on the corpus of the os
metacarpale II and the caput of the os
metatarsale I and the subject has to report at
what amplification he still feels the vibration.
The amplification of the vibration can be set at
0-8 (artbitrary units).
- - -
Querol [30] Muscle strength measured by maximum
voluntary contraction (isometric) with hips
and knees fixed and knees in a 90 degree
angel. Best of measure was used. Muscle
activiation was measured by surface EMG and
muscle diameter was measured by
computerized tomography.
- - -
Gurcay [36] Clinical score of the joints by the Gilbert
scoring system. Pain by ? (score range 0-3).
Range of motion was most probably measured
by standard goniometry. This this was not
mentioned in the methods section results show
outcome in degrees, which implies the use of
standard goniometry.
Functioanl
ability was
measured by
the JAFAR-C
- -
137
Outcome measures used according to ICF level (continued)
Body functions and
structures
Activity Partici
pation
Other
Gomis [29] cross-sectional are of the biceps was
measured by compuerized axial
tomography. Muscle strength was
measured by maximal voluntary isometric
contraction (MVIC). Elektromyographica
activity was measured by surface emg
with Ag/AgCl bipolar elektrodes during
the MVIC.
- - -
*Garcia
[31]
Range of motion was measured by
goniometry.
- - -
Hill [37] Static balance was measured by The
neurocom balance master long plate ,
dynamic bilateral stance balance was
measured by the neurocom and by
functional reach test, dynamic single limb
balance was measured by the step test
(steps per 15s), gait and mobility was
measured by measures of the neurocom
(gat speed, gait step length, step width,
step quick turn sway) and Leg muscle
strength by the timed up and go test and
by an isometric strength test (maximal
voluntary contraction) of the quadriceps
by strain gauge (this test is part of the
physical profile assessment Lord et al.
Phys ther 2003 83 (237-52). Pain was
measured by a 10 cm Visual analogue
scale.
The activity level
was measured by
Human activity
Profile
questionnaire
- Fear of
falling/ falls
efficacy was
measured by
the Modified
Falls Efficacy
Scale (MFES)
Vallejo
[35]
Aerobic capacity was measured by the
oxygen uptake during the cooper 12
minute walk/run test. Also significant
weight loss during the trial from 81.3 to
72.4 (calculated from data)
Functional walking
ability was
measured by the
total distance
covered during the
12 minute cooper
cooper 12 minute
walk/run test
- -
Mulvany
[38]
ROM was measured by goniometry;
Muscle strength was measured
isometrically with a handheld
dynamometer; circumference of the joints
was measured by a measurement tape at
marked landmarks.
Functional walking
ability was
measured by the
total distance
covered during the
6 minute walk test.
- -
138
Chapter 7
Protected by nature? Effects of
strenuous physical exercise on VIII
activity in moderate and mild
haemophilia A patients: a pilot
study
Den Uijl, I.E.M.
Groen, W.G.
Van der Net, J.
Grobbee, D.E.
De Groot, Ph. G.
Fischer, K.
Submitted for publication
140
SUMMARY
Increase of factor VIII activity (FVIII) after physical exercise has been reported in
healthy subjects and small scale studies in patients with coagulopathies. We studied
whether moderate and mild haemophilia A patients are able to increase their
endogenous FVIII activity levels by physical activity.
We studied changes in FVIII activity levels after high intensity exercise in
15 haemophilia A patients, 20-39 years, 8 with moderate, 7 with mild haemophilia.
Patients cycled until volitional exhaustion, blood samples were drawn before and
10 minutes after the exercise test.
FVIII activity increased 2.5 times (IQR 1.2-4.0 times), for both severities.
Absolute increases were markedly different: median 7 IU/dl (range 3-9 IU/dl) in
patients with moderate, compared to 15 IU/dl (range 6-62 IU/dl) in mild
haemophilia patients. VWF and VWFpp increased independently of severity;
median 50% (IQR 30-79%) and median 165% (IQR 130-244%) respectively,
reflecting acute release of VWF.
These observations may be used to promote high intensity activities before
participating in sports for moderate and mild haemophilia A patients, to reduce
bleeding risk. Further studies are warranted to fully appreciate the clinical
significance of exercise on different levels of intensity in patients with mild and
moderate haemophilia A.
141
INTRODUCTION
Physical exercise is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle, as it reduces risk of
coronary disease [1] and diabetes [2], and promotes well-being [3,4]. Yet, sports
participation is lower in patients with haemophilia than in healthy peers [5,6].
Haemophilia A patients lack clotting factor VIII (FVIII), resulting in a high risk of
joint bleeds. Severe haemophilia patients (FVIII <1IU/dl, or <1% of normal levels)
suffer from spontaneous joint bleeds, which untreated will lead to crippling
haemophilic arthropathy [7]. Patients with moderate (FVIII 1-5 IU/dl) or mild
(FVIII 6-30 IU/dl) haemophilia generally only bleed after trauma or overexertion.
The perceived bleeding risk has hampered participation in sports in many
haemophilia patients [5]. Historically, these patients were recommended low
impact sports such as swimming [6]. Fortunately, treatment has been intensified
and currently more than half of haemophilia patients in the Netherlands actually
participate in a variety of sports, even contact sports such as soccer [8].
The effect of exercise on blood haemostasis has been studied extensively in
healthy subjects. Several studies have reported that acute bouts of exercise of
varied intensity and duration induced a significant increase in FVIII activity [9-13].
In healthy populations, increase in FVIII activity and FVIII antigen were positively
associated with exercise intensity [14]. Unfortunately there are only few studies in
which the effect of exercise on factor VIII production have been assessed in
patients with haemophilia [15-17]. These studies have some limitations that
warrant further study. The study of Koch et al. [15] shows an increase of factor
VIII activity in one moderate and three mild patients with factor levels ranging
from 14.5 to 17.3%. However an increase was not seen in seven severe patients.
This small number of patients limits generalization of these findings. The study of
Roya et al. [16] included patients with a relatively high clotting factor activity
(average FVII activity of 12%) and used an exercise protocol that was very time
consuming (mean exercise time of 37 minutes) [18].
The aim of the present study is to examine the effect of standardized
exercise on FVIII levels in mild and moderate haemophilia A patients, which may
lead to less reserve towards sports or other strenuous physical activities in these
patients.
142
METHODS
In this pilot study, fifteen consecutive non-severe haemophilia A patients with
FVIII activity levels of 1-15 IU/dl volunteered to participate. After signing
informed consent, coagulation parameters were measured before and after a
standardised incremental exercise test. Patients were considered able to complete
the test if they did not have any disability preventing them from cycling or
strenuous physical activity. This study was approved by the medical ethical
committee of the Utrecht Medical Centre, Utrecht, the Netherlands.
Exercise testing procedure
Patients performed a graded exercise test on an electronically braked cycle
ergometer (Ergoline 9000, Germany). Subjects started with one minute of unloaded
cycling after which the load was increased with 25W every minute. Pedalling
frequency was 60-80 revolutions/min. This protocol was continued until the patient
stopped because of volitional exhaustion, despite strong verbal encouragement of
the investigator. During the test heart rate (HR), oxygen consumption (VO2) and
carbon dioxide production (VCO2) were measured with a calibrated portable
breath-by-breath system (metamax 3B, Cortex biophysik, Germany). Respiratory
Exchange Ratio (RER) was calculated as VCO2/VO2. A test was rated as maximal
when at least 2 out of 3 of the following criteria were met:1) plateau in VO2, 2)
peak RER > 1.0, and 3) maximal HR within 10 beats of age predicted maximum
for age (220 minus age). Peak HR and peak work rate were defined as the highest
value measure (10 second intervals). Absolute peak oxygen uptake (VO2peak) was
defined by the average value over the last 30 seconds of the maximal exercise test.
Relative VO2peak (VO2peak/kg) was calculated as absolute VO2peak divided by
weight. Peak values for oxygen uptake were compared to established reference
values [19].
Blood collection procedure and laboratory assays
Blood samples were collected by a research nurse before and ten minutes after the
maximal exercise test.. Ten minutes after maximal exercise was considered to be
appropriate to measure the response of factor VIII and was based on previous
studies in healthy subjects as well as patients with haemophilia [16,17,20]. All
punctures were performed atraumatically (only blood immediately successful
punctures was used) in the cubital vein. For each sample, 4.5 mL was collected in a
citrate tube. Blood samples were spinned for 15 minutes at 2000*g and stored at 143
40°C until analysis. All samples were analyzed in one batch (to avoid inter-assay
differences) at the certified haematology laboratory of the UMC Utrecht, the
Netherlands. Plasma levels of FVIII activity, von Willebrand factor (VWF) and
von Willebrand propeptide (VWFpp) were assessed in all samples. FVIII activity
was assessed using the one-stage assay on a STA-Rack evolution [21]. VWF
antigen was measured by enzyme-linked immunoabsorbent assay (ELISA) using a
polyclonal antibody against human VWF for capture and detection [22,23]. The
concentrations of VWFpp were determined with a standard ELISA on a Tecan
Freedom EVO pipetting robot [24].
Statistics
Data analysis was performed using SPSS 17.0 (Chicago, Il, USA). A power
calculation [25] was performed based on data of Roya et al. [16] who reported an
increase of FVIII level of 3.7 IU/dl after exercise. Based on this increase, a power
of 80% and a significance level of 0.05 a minimum of 12 patients was required to
detect a significant difference (a two sided Wilcoxon matched pairs test). To avoid
lack of statistical power, 15 patients were included in this study.
For each patient, the increase in FVIII activity was calculated. The relative
increase was calculated by dividing the absolute increase in FVIII by the patient’s
baseline FVIII activity level. Changes in FVIII activity, VWF and VWFpp after
exercise for mild and moderate haemophilia as well as the total group were
compared using a Wilcoxon matched-pairs rank test. Differences in changes in
FVIII activity, VWF and VWFpp after exercise between mild and moderate
haemophilia were compared using a Mann-Whitney U test. In patients with mild
haemophilia the changes in FVIII activity after exercise were compared to
previously performed routine DDAVP response tests (i.e. increase in FVIII activity
1 hour after intravenous administration of 0.3 microgram/kg DDAVP using a
Wilcoxon matched-pairs rank test.
RESULTS
Patient characteristics and test results of the exercise test are shown in Table 1. A
total of 15 patients with a median age of 26.5 years (range 20-39 years)
volunteered. Eight patients had moderate (FVIII 1-5 IU/dl) and 7 mild haemophilia
(FVIII 6-15 IU/dl). All patients completed the exercise test without complications
and all patients met at least 2 out of 3 criteria of a maximal exercise test. Median
peak workload was 304 Watt (range 242-375 Watt). Median peak heart rate was
144
188 beats/min (range 164-199 beats/min). Median VO2peak was 42.2 ml/kg/min
(range 27.1-49.7 ml/kg/min) which was 91.0% of predicted (range 66.0-106.0%).
Table 1. Patient characteristics (n=15) and results of the incremental exercise test
n=15
Age (years) 27 (20-39)
Moderate haemophilia (n, %) 8 (53%)
BMI 23.8 (20.3-33.5)
Time to exhaustion (min) 11 (9-15)
Peak Workload (Watt) 304 (242-375)
Peak Heart Rate (beats/min) 188 (164-199)
Peak Respiratory Exchange Ratio 1.25 (1.02-1.54)
VO2peak (L/min) 3.40 (2.44-49.7)
VO2peak (mL/kg/min) 42.2 (27.1-49.7)
VO2peak (% predicted) 91.0 (66.0-106.0)
Values are median (range) or n (%)
Median baseline FVIII activity was 5 IU/dl (range 2-15 IU/dl). After the
incremental exercise test, FVIII activity had increased in all patients to median 11
IU/dl (range 7-77 IU/dl), although the absolute change in FVIII activity varied
widely (Fig.1). Median relative increase was similar (p=0.8) for moderate (2.4
times; IQR 1.3-4.0 times) and mild haemophilia patients (2.5 times; IQR 1.2-4.0
times). The absolute increase was higher in patients with mild haemophilia
(p=0.01), resulting in higher FVIII activity levels after exercise for mild (median
21 IU/dl; IQR 19-44 IU/dl) than for moderate haemophilia patients (9 IU/dl; IQR
8-11 IU/dl).
VWF and VWFpp also increased independent of severity (p=0.3-0.6) in all
patients, median 50%; IQR 30-79% and median 165%; IQR 130-244%
respectively. The proportional increase in VWF was lower than in VWFpp. (Table
2) DDAVP tolerance tests were available only for patients with mild haemophilia.
Relative increase after DDAVP administration was median 3.5 times (IQR 2.5-14.5
times), and was similar to the increase in FVIII activity after exercise (p=0.14).
145
Figure 1. Baseline FVIII activity levels and after an incremental exercise test in patients (n=15) with
moderate and mild haemophilia
146
Table 2. Increase in coagulation parameters after exercise and DDAVP
administration
Moderate
(n=8)
Mild
(n=7)
p-value
Absolute increase
FVIII (IU/dl) 7 (3-9) 15 (6-62) 0.01
VWF (%) 50 (8-117) 57 (23-123) 0.42
VWFpp (%) 164 (48-346) 186 (90-350) 0.67
FVIII after DDAVP (IU/dl) - 32 (13-87) 0.10*
Relative increase*
FVIII 2.4 (1.8-7) 2.5 (1.9-4.5) 0.82
VWF 1.5 (1.1-2.7) 1.8 (1.2-2.9) 0.30
VWFpp 2.6 (1.5-4.1) 2.7 (2.0-4.9) 0.64
FVIII after DDAVP (IU/dl) - 3.5 (2.2-14.5) 0.14*
Values are shown as median (range)
*increase FVIII after exercise compared to increase FVIII after DDAVP
administration
DISCUSSION
The results of this study showed that patients with moderate and mild haemophilia
increase their endogenous FVIII activity shortly after high intensity exercise. The
relative increase of FVIII activity after exercise was independent from baseline
FVIII activity level. All patients showed at least doubling of FVIII activity after
exercise.
The reason for choosing patients with <15 IU/dl FVIII activity was that
baseline bleeding risk is higher in these patients than in patients with >15 IU/dl
[26]. These patients, who are treated on demand, have most to gain by an increase
of their FVIII activity levels.
The increase in factor VIII activity levels coincide with an increase of VWF and
VWFpp levels. The proportional increase was higher in VWFpp, indicating acute
release of VWF from endothelial cells [27]. During exercise, as well as after
DDAVP administration [28], muscular perfusion increases, VWF is washed out of
the endothelial cells of the muscles and subsequently binds more FVIII.
In this pilot study it appeared that the increase in factor VIII activity after
exercise was similar to after DDAVP administration in patients with mild
haemophilia. In moderate haemophilia the response to DDAVP is generally very
low [29]. As the increase in FVIII levels is considered insufficient for the treatment
147
of bleeds in moderate patients, our clinic only performs routine DDAVP response
tests in mild haemophilia patients. The inclusion of patients with a low baseline
FVIII activity, is expected to be one of the reasons for the limited increase in FVIII
after exercise.
In addition to baseline level, other factors could impact the increase in
FVIII activity, for example age and cardiorespiratory fitness. Van den Burg et al.
found that factor VIII response to exercise in healthy subjects was higher for
subjects that had higher cardiorespiratory fitness and were younger of age[20].
None of the patients in this pilot study participated in high-level endurance sports,
such as cycling and running multiple times per week. This was reflected by the
values for cardiorespiratory fitness that were in the normal range when compared
to healthy untrained subjects. The highest VO2peak attained was 106% of
predicted, which could be considered relatively low when compared to levels
attained in highly trained endurance athletes.
Although numbers were low, the increase in FVIII and VWF seem to be
consistent throughout this study. There is additional evidence that submaximal
exercise also results in increase in FVIII activity, albeit less pronounced. Koch et
al. [15] reported grouped data on the increase of FVIII activity after an incremental
exercise test in seven severe and three mild haemophilia A patients aged 8-15
years, with FVIII activity levels ranging from 14.5 to 17.3 IU/dl. As can be
expected, FVIII activity did not increase in patients with severe haemophilia. Three
patients with mild haemophilia showed, however, a 1.15 times increase of FVIII
activity levels after submaximal exercise. The exertion in the study of Koch et al.
was clearly submaximal as reflected by low mean peak workload (45W; range 3760W) as well as the mean peak heart rate (177 bpm), which is considered quite low
for children. Roya et al. [16] tested 10 patients with mild haemophilia; FVIII
activity levels of 12 IU/dl (sd 3.8 IU/dl). They reported a consistent increase of
FVIII activity of 1.3 times after an incremental exercise test, which was similar to
that of Koch et al. Mean exercise time in the study of Roya et al. was 37.4 minutes
(range 23-46), corresponding to approximately 212W (range142-267), which is
almost 100W lower than in our study (mean peak workload of 304W).
Unfortunately Roya et al. did not report values for peak RER or peak HR that
would have defined exercise intensity more clearly. The age distribution from the
study of Roya et al. [16] (24.5 years (range 17-38 years)) matched that of our study
(26.5 (range 20-39)), and therefore age-related effects on VWF and FVIII [14] do
not affect the comparison of the studies. In contrast with both Koch et al. [15] and
Roya et al. [16] who performed submaximal exercise tests, we used a maximum
148
incremental exercise test, which could explain the larger increase [14]. This
suggests that the intensity of the physical activity influences the increase in FVIII
activity. The optmial intensity of physical activity to reduce bleeding risk remains
to be studied. The increase (median 2.5 times) found in the current study is
comparable to the increase found in von Willebrand patients (mean increase 1.62.3 times) [30] and healthy subjects [9].
The mechanism of increase in coagulation components during exercise or
DDAVP is not yet fully understood, however it is suggested that it may be
mediated via the ß-adrenergic receptor pathway, because ß blockade blunts this
increase [31]. There have also been reports that endothelial cells could release
FVIII [32,33] or even produce FVIII [32,34]. Future studies should investigate
whether both DDAVP and exercise are two parts of the same mechanism or both
target another system of release of additional endogenous FVIII.
Are these results reproducible in the patient’s sports activities? In this
study patients exercised up to a maximum workload, with heart rates of median
188 beats per minute in order to double their endogenous FVIII activity level. If
patients would perform a bout of high intensity exercise (i.e. with a heart rate up to
approximately 180 bpm) at the end of their warm-up routine before participating in
sports, they could profit from an increase in FVIII activity and hence reduce
potential bleeding complications. Although normal levels are not achieved, and the
effect of a vigorous bout of exercise at the end of a warming up needs to be
confirmed, the increase of FVIII activity is expected to help reduce bleeding risk
during physical activity, especially in patients with moderate haemophilia. This
information may be taken into consideration when counselling patients or tailoring
treatment.
Results from the present study strongly suggest that sports and other
strenuous activities should not be discouraged in moderate and mild haemophilia A
patients, because of increased bleeding risks. Rather, these patients may benefit
from their ability to raise FVIII levels during sports activities as a natural
mechanism to reduce the risk of bleeding.
149
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
We would like to thank Els Haan, research nurse at the van Creveldkliniek, UMC
Utrecht for her help in collecting and preparing the blood samples in this study. We
also thank Arjan Barendrecht and Albert Huisman, Dept. of Clinical Chemistry and
Haematology, UMC Utrecht, for the analysis of blood samples. Additionally, we
are grateful to Kitty Bos, for her assistance during the graded exercise testing. This
study was sponsored by an unrestricted research grant from Pfizer and the
“Strategische impuls” from UMC Utrecht.
150
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(27) Vischer UM, Ingerslev J, Wollheim CB, Mestries JC, Tsakiris DA, Haefeli WE,
Kruithof EK. Acute von Willebrand factor secretion from the endothelium in vivo:
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(30) Stakiw J, Bowman M, Hegadorn C, Pruss C, Notley C, Groot E, Lenting PJ, Rapson
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Chapter 8
Summary & General Discussion
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155
Summary
In Chapter 1 a short introduction is given on haemophilia including an
introduction on the current status of the evaluation of functional health status and
the role of physical activity in patients with haemophilia. The research questions
for this thesis are presented.
In Chapter 2 a cross-sectional study is presented on the relationship
between aspects of joint health and functional ability. Analyses of data of 226
children with haemophilia on intensive replacement therapy showed that in general
there was little association between joint health and functional ability. Small but
consistent associations were found between aspects of ankle joint health and lower
extremity tasks. This finding indicates that ankle joints may require special
attention during follow up of these children. This study also indicated that a
haemophilia specific measure of functional ability might be useful especially for
patients with good joint status. In Chapter 3 and 4 the development of the
Paediatric Haemophilia Activity List (PedHAL) is described to meet this need.
Chapter 3 describes the development and preliminary testing of the PedHAL in
Dutch children with haemophilia. The structure and the main content were derived
from the Haemophilia activities list (HAL). Additionally, items of other activity
scales for children were considered for inclusion. Health professionals, patients,
and parents evaluated this version. A pilot test in a sample of 32 Dutch children
was performed to assess score distribution, construct validity and reproducibility.
The analyses showed that the administration of the PedHAL was feasible and that
scores were in the high end of the scale reflecting good functional status. The
PedHAL correlated with joint examination scores and physical function subscale of
the child health questionnaire (CHQ). The PedHAL did not correlate with mental
and behavioural subscales of the CHQ. These findings support the validity of the
construct of the PedHAL as a measure of functional health status. Test-retest
agreement as assessed by limits of agreement was good. We concluded that the
pedHAL is a promising tool, but additional testing of its psychometric properties in
populations with a higher level of disability should be performed. Therefore, in
Chapter 4 we describe the psychometric testing of the paediatric haemophilia
activities list (PedHAL) in a sample of Romanian children who are not on
prophylaxis. Children attending the rehabilitation center of Buzias in Romania
were sampled. Construct validity of the PedHAL was evaluated by concurrent
testing with objective and subjective measures of physical function and functional
156
ability. Reproducibility was tested by a 3-day test-retest. Responsiveness to
rehabilitation was assessed with the PedHAL and the Haemophilia Joint Health
Score (HJHS). The median PedHAL score was nearly 20 points lower than in
Dutch patients. The PedHAL correlated with Joint health, functional independence
and the physical function subscale of the CHQ. The PedHAL did not correlate with
the mental health and behaviour subscales of the CHQ and with a functional
walking test. Test-retest reliability was good whereas test retest agreement on
subsequent testing showed a considerable day-to-day variability of 17 points. A
short rehabilitation program led to slightly improved HJHS scores, whereas
PedHAL scores remained similar. We concluded that construct validity and testretest reliability were good, and test-retest agreement showed some day-to-day
variation. Therefore, currently the PedHAL may be more appropriate for research
purposes than for individual patient monitoring in clinical practice.
In Chapter 5 we investigated what types of physical activities Dutch
patients with haemophilia engage in, how their activity level relates to national
guidelines and how their cardiorespiratory fitness is compared to reference values.
Furthermore we analysed the association between intensity of physical activity as
well as joint health and cardiorespiratory fitness. It was found that children with
haemophilia were as active as the normal population and had normal levels of
cardiorespiratory fitness. Children with severe haemophilia participated more in
swimming and less in competitive soccer compared to children with non-severe
haemophilia. We did not find a clear relation between activity levels, joint health
and cardiorespiratory fitness, which might be explained by the relative good joint
health status and the questionable reliability of self reported physical activity
measure used in this study.
In addition to habitual physical activity, physical exercise can also be
provided in a structured manner by means of exercise interventions. In order to
better understand the effects of exercise interventions on patients with haemophilia
we conducted a systematic literature review in Chapter 6. Ultimately, nine articles
matched our inclusion criteria and were included in a qualitative analysis. Overall
the level of evidence and the quality of the included studies was low and therefore
the evidence base for exercise interventions was rated as poor for all interventions
and outcomes. Apart from this, the description of training parameters was generally
unsatisfactory and there is a lack of uniformity with regard to the use of outcome
measures. Suggestions for improving study methodology and training theory were
proposed in order to help this field forward.
157
Besides late training effects that exercise may have, exercise also may have
acute effects in haemophilia patients that might be beneficial. In Chapter 7 we
studied the effect of a strenuous physical exercise on the level of clotting factor (F
VIII) in patients with mild and moderate haemophilia A. Patients showed
consistently increase in FVIII levels after exercise with a median increase of 2.5
times baseline FVIII activity. Even though these results are promising, the practical
value of these findings requires further study.
158
159
General Discussion
Evaluation of functional health status in haemophilia
Historically, the evaluation of health status has been mainly focused on aspects
relating to joint structure and blood coagulation. Consequently, the evaluation of
functional ability in haemophilia has long been disregarded. In the past two
decades, alongside with the introduction of the ICF model by the World Health
Organization, functional ability more and more became the measurement tool for
functional ability and consequently were included in studies on haemophilia [1-3].
The (Childhood) Health Assessment Questionnaire ((C)HAQ) is an example of a
measure of functional ability that has been “borrowed” to use in haemophilia
patients and has served quite well. However researchers increasingly emphasize the
need for more haemophilia specific tools, especially on the level of activities [4,5].
In this light, with the development of the Haemophilia Activities List (HAL) [6,7]
and consequently the PedHAL [8] we did met this need.
Transition from PedHAL to HAL
With the development of the PedHAL (Chapter 3) changes were made to the
content of the HAL, however leaving intact the basic structure as well as many
items of the HAL. On the one hand, as intended, these changes to the PedHAL
made it more suitable for use in children and adolescents. On the other hand, scores
of the PedHAL may not fully be compatible with the HAL. We are aware of this,
and this may be object of study in coming decade. With the long-term use of these
two measures, combined and maybe simultaneously in certain ages, researchers
may be able to pinpoint the specific relationship of PedHAL and HAL scores. The
issue of transition from adolescent to adult health status measurement is pursued in
other areas as well. For instance the Stanford Health Assessment Questionnaire
(HAQ) was modified for children (CHAQ) in 1994 by modifying its content [9].
Researchers nowadays are still in debate how the transition from one the CHAQ to
HAQ must be dealt with appropriately [10].
Core-set of outcome measures
It is good news that in the past decade, researchers worldwide have took on the
challenge to create and test haemophilia specific outcome measures [6-8,11-17].
Further refinement and testing of the psychometric properties of these tools is in
progress. More widespread use of these tools will enable sharing of data across the
160
world, so promoting best practice and ultimately enhancing patient care [18]. In
this light it is encouraging to note that the HAL has already been included in
several clinical trials [19,20]. Furthermore, the HAL and PedHAL are currently
included in a Canadian study on the efficacy of a new clotting factor product. We
anticipate that the data from this trial will give us additional insight into the
psychometric properties of these instruments. Ultimately these efforts may lead to a
disease specific core-set of outcome measures for children and adults with
haemophilia. Currently, there already are good examples on how such a core-set
could be developed properly. In the field of (paediatric) rheumatology, for
example, the OMERACT and PRINTO initiatives have proven to be successful
ways of selecting the best possible outcome measures (in terms of psychometrics
and feasibility) based on literature and expert opinions [21,22]. The World
Federation of Haemophilia (WFH) could be the leading organization for the
development of such a core-set. Currently the WFH facilitates the sharing of newly
developed haemophilia specific measurement tools by providing them in an online
compendium of outcome measures. In this compendium instruments are provided
along with details on psychometric properties, target population and practical
details (such as duration of testing). The compendium is publicly available on the
WFH web site [23].
Physical activity and haemophilia
In the past and before the introduction of prophylactic treatment, persons with
severe haemophilia were discouraged from participating in physical activity
because of the risk of bleeds [24]. After the introduction of prophylactic treatment
in the late 1950s and onward, attitude towards participation in physical activity has
been changed and patients were able to participate in a larger range of physical
activities with fewer bleeds.
Benefits of physical activity
Patients with haemophilia should be encouraged to participate in regular physical
activity, tailored to their health status and personal lifestyle [3,4]. An active
lifestyle is important because it has numerous health benefits, especially for
primary and secondary prevention of chronic diseases (e.g., cardiovascular disease,
diabetes, cancer, hypertension, obesity, depression and osteoporosis) and premature
death [25]. Specific knowledge on the effectiveness of exercise interventions in
patients with haemophilia remains unclear due to the lack of high quality studies on
this topic as shown and described in Chapter 6 of this thesis. Although the formal
161
evidence base is poor, exercise interventions or physical therapy are considered
important, potentially effective and inexpensive options to treat patients with
haemophilia in regions where clotting factor is not readily available [26-29]. The
importance of exercise for developing countries, where the supply of factor
concentrates is inadequate, is underlined by our findings in patients with mild and
moderate haemophilia. In Chapter 7 we presented an increase of factor VIII of 2.5
times baseline values after vigorous physical exercise in adult patients with
moderate and mild haemophilia A. Such increased levels of FVIII might lead to a
reduced bleeding risk in mild and moderate patients. Moreover, such findings may
add to the positive image of physical activity in patients with haemophilia.
Secondary prevention
With reduced morbidity of the musculoskeletal system, as seen in children on
prophylaxis, attention may partly shift to health-related fitness and prevention of
secondary diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer etcetera.
Increasingly, research focuses on habitual physical activity levels in haemophilia.
Recent studies show that adolescent patients with haemophilia spend more time
watching television and playing video-games than healthy peers [30]. On the
contrary, the children in the study presented in Chapter 5 were as active as the
general population. This is not a common finding in children with chronic disease.
Reduced physical activity levels have been reported in many chronic conditions
such as Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis [31], Cerebral Palsy [32] and Spina Bifida
[33]. This relatively high level of activity is good news for the patients, as there is
evidence that inactivity in children with haemophilia increases the risk of low bone
mineral density [34-36]. We should be aware of the fact that the majority of the
Dutch children (both healthy and those with haemophilia) do not meet the
recommended level of physical activity [37]. Concurrently, the number of obese
patients with haemophilia in the Netherlands is rising very rapidly. In adult patients
with haemophilia, the prevalence of overweight (BMI 25-30 kg/m2) increased from
27% to 35% and the prevalence of obesity (BMI ≥30 kg/m2) doubled from 4% to
8%, which is comparable with the general population [38]. The prevalence of
obesity in Dutch children with haemophilia even tripled (from 2% to 6%) in 10
years, which is alarming [38]. In the United States it is even worse: In the state of
Mississippi, 51% of the patients with haemophilia were either obese or overweight
[39]. The prevalence of obesity in the adult (>20 years old) patients with
haemophilia was 36% and an additional 32% were overweight. In the
children/adolescents (age 2–19.9 years), 21% were obese with a further 16%
162
overweight. The highest prevalence in this group occurred in the 11–19.9 year age
range [39]. Being overweight or obese has a profound effect on functional ability
[20,40] and quality of life [40] in patients with haemophilia by aggravating preexisting arthropathy [41] and predisposing aged patients to cardiovascular disease
[42]. Strategies to combat overweight in patients with haemophilia are therefore
urgently needed [38]. It might be necessary to expand follow-up procedures with
specific counselling on diet and physical activity to be able to counteract this
growing number of patients being overweight or obese.
Risks of physical activity
There is emerging data on the bleeding risk of different physical activities. For
example, a recent study in children suggested that engaging in vigorous activities
did not lead to a greater number of bleeding episodes when compared to nonvigorous activities. However, vigorous activities led to a higher percentage of
bleeds related to a trauma [43]. There is some evidence that children with severe
haemophilia on prophylaxis participating in high impact sports do not have
increased joint bleedings than children that are participating in low impact sports
[44]. Clearly, more prospective studies are needed to elucidate the causal
relationship between activities and bleeding episodes in children with haemophilia.
Hopefully this will provide better insight into the risks that children with
haemophilia encounter by engaging in certain physical activities. Objective activity
measures such as accelerometers are becoming more and more advanced, and
recent studies have shown that it is possible to identify specific activities from
accelerometer data quite accurately [45,46].
Accelerometers therefore might be very useful tools to track physical
activity behaviour in patients with haemophilia. New media such as Internet portals
or text messaging may further help in this regard. Recently a study design was
published on the estimation of bleeding risk through self report of activities and
bleeds via text messaging by mobile phone by children with haemophilia [47].
In our systematic review on exercise interventions (Chapter 6)
complications were reported in two studies: Greene et al. [48] reported that some
patients with bad joint status reported peri-patellar pain during exercises, and
Gurcay et al. [49] reported 2 patients developing a joint haemorrhage during the
intervention, even though they received prophylaxis during the training
programme. The majority of the studies reported that the exercise intervention did
not have any adverse effects.
163
With regard to sports, there is still great debate on the risks. Several
institutions have presented tables or overviews on the level of risk that certain
sports might have, such as the World Federation of Haemophilia (WFH) [50], The
Haemophilia Society [51], The National Haemophilia Foundation [52], and Fit for
Live [53]. However these institutions are far from reaching a consensus. For
example: soccer is rated as “high risk” by Fit for Life, whereas by the WFH and the
NHF it is rated as “safe with risk”. Accordingly, there is a range of other sports
were the risk evaluation is conflicting. Therefore, rather than making
recommendations about all sports and apply them to everyone, it may be more
useful to match the person and the activity according to the biomechanical
requirements of the sport and the physical abilities of the participant [54].
Overall, the impression is that the benefits of physical activity in patients
with haemophilia outweigh the risks. Especially when proper precautions are taken
and activities are suited to the physical ability of the patient. General textbook
recommendations for patients with haemophilia are: wearing proper protective
clothing, performing a proper warm-up and in case of severe haemophilia and
using prophylaxis before engaging in strenuous physical activities or sports.
Suggestions for future research
This thesis describes the first steps in the development of a disease specific
instrument to measure functional ability in children with haemophilia: the
PedHAL. Although the studies in this thesis show that the PedHAL is a promising
tool, further improvements could be made. Possibly reliability could by improved
by removing some items that seem redundant. Reducing redundancy of this
instrument by deleting of items/activities however may result in loss of content
validity. This issue has to be addressed in future studies. Furthermore the content
may have to be adapted in some way to make it cultural appropriate when
introduced elsewhere. Possibly, the eventual PedHAL will consist of a “common
trunk” with additional culture specific activities. We encourage further refinement
of this tool by international collaborators to improve the outcome evaluation of the
children with haemophilia around the world. It can be expected that the PedHAL
will evolve over time just as for example the CHAQ, which has been modified by
extending it with extra (more physically challenging) items as well as by adjusting
the scoring system. Maybe by developing a short form or by applying computer
adaptive testing procedures, the usability of the PedHAL could be further
improved. As stated earlier, a core-set of outcome measures across all levels of the
ICF is required to enhance comparability of study results in patients with
164
haemophilia. When this set is identified specific procedures such as ICF linking
[55,56] could be used to determine whether all aspects of functional health, that are
relevant for haemophilia, are adequately covered.
Furthermore, we need to improve our understanding of the impact of
exercise and physical activity both in patients with and without prophylactic
treatment. For those patients without prophylaxis much more evidence is needed on
what type of interventions are the most beneficial. The evidence base should be
expanded with high quality exercise intervention studies, as is outlined in Chapter
6. In addition, apart from developing a basic core-set for evaluating functional
health status in patients with haemophilia, uniformity on the outcome measures
with respect to exercise tests is also needed, because it will enhance the
comparability of outcomes across studies with haemophilia patients. A Delphi
procedure with researchers and clinicians could lead to a core-set, which could
enhance uniformity in reporting trials on the effects of exercise interventions. Such
a Delphi procedure has recently been published within the field of Cerebral Palsy
and could serve as good example [57]. For patients on prophylaxis, the focus
increasingly may be on aspects of health related physical fitness that have long
been out of scope for patients with haemophilia because of the primary need to
treat bleeding episodes and joint pathology. A conceptual model such as proposed
by Bouchard and Shepard [58] could be very helpful in defining new research
questions on the specific relationship of physical activity, health related physical
fitness and well being and mortality. Finally, clinical exercise physiologists may
become increasingly important in this particular research area because they are
equipped with knowledge on (patho-) physiology as well as with general principles
of exercise testing and programming. Research in the field of clinical exercise
physiology has proved its merits and will continue to show that exercise should be
an integral part of medical practice: exercise is medicine.
165
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Samenvatting (Dutch summary)
In hoofdstuk 1 wordt een introductie gegeven over hemofilie, het meten van de
functionele gezondheid en de rol van fysieke activiteit bij patiënten met hemofilie.
De doelstellingen van dit proefschrift worden gepresenteerd.
In hoofdstuk 2 wordt een cross-sectionele studie beschreven over de
relatie tussen aspecten van gewrichtsstatus en functionele mogelijkheden. Analyse
van data van 226 kinderen die intensief behandeld werden met stollingsfactor, laat
zien dat er over het algemeen weinig associatie is tussen gewrichtsstatus en
functionele mogelijkheden. Kleine, maar significante associaties werden gevonden
tussen aspecten van enkelgewrichtstatus en het uitvoeren van taken waarbij de
onderste extremiteiten betrokken zijn. Deze bevinding laat zien dat de enkels
mogelijk extra aandacht verdienen bij de klinische follow-up van deze kinderen.
Deze studie laat ook zien dat een hemofiliespecifieke uitkomstmaat voor
functionele mogelijkheden gewenst is en vooral nuttig zou kunnen zijn bij kinderen
met een relatief goede gewrichtsstatus. In hoofdstuk 3 en 4 wordt de ontwikkeling
van de Pediatrische Hemofilie Activiteiten Lijst (PedHAL) beschreven, waarmee
aan deze wens tegemoet wordt gekomen.
Hoofdstuk 3 beschrijft de ontwikkeling en het testen van de PedHAL bij
Nederlandse kinderen met hemofilie. De structuur en een groot deel van de inhoud
is verkregen vanuit de Hemofilie activiteiten lijst (HAL). Voorts zijn er items van
andere pediatrische vragenlijsten over fysieke activiteiten toegevoegd.
Gezondheidsprofessionals, patiënten en ouders hebben deze versie beoordeeld. Een
pilot-test bij 32 Nederlandse kinderen werd uitgevoerd om de scoreverdeling, de
constructvaliditeit en de betrouwbaarheid te meten. De analyses laten zien dat het
afnemen van de PedHAL haalbaar is en dat de scores in het hoge gedeelte van de
schaal lagen, wat overeenkomt met een goede functionele status. De PedHAL
correleerde met scores van gewrichtsonderzoek en met de subschaal ‘fysieke
functie’ van de kindergezondheidsvragenlijst (CHQ). De PedHAL correleerde niet
met de mentale en gedrags-subschaal van de CHQ. Deze bevindingen ondersteunen
de validiteit van het construct van de PedHAL als maat voor functionele
gezondheidsstatus. De test-hertest overeenkomst was goed. We concluderen dat de
PedHAL een veelbelovend instrument is, maar dat meer onderzoek nodig is in
populaties met een grotere mate van functionele beperking. Daarom beschrijven we
in hoofdstuk 4 het testen van de psychometrie van de PedHAL in een groep
Roemeense kinderen die geen bloedingsprofylaxe krijgen. Kinderen die in het
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revalidatiecentrum in Buzias (Roemenië) worden behandeld werden geïncludeerd.
De constructvaliditeit van de PedHAL werd bepaald door het gelijktijdig scoren
van zowel objectieve als subjectieve maten van fysiek functioneren en functionele
mogelijkheden. De reproduceerbaarheid werd getest door een 3-daagse test-hertest.
De responsiviteit van een revalidatiebehandeling werd gemeten met de PedHAL en
met een instrument voor gewrichtsstatus (Haemophilia Joint Health Score; HJHS).
De mediane PedHAL score was bijna 20 punten lager dan bij de Nederlandse
patiënten. De PedHAL correleerde met gewrichtsstatus, met functionele
onafhankelijkheid en met de subschaal ‘fysieke functie’ van de CHQ. De PedHAL
correleerde niet met de mentale en gedrags-subschaal van de CHQ en met een
functionele wandeltest. De test-hertest betrouwbaarheid was goed, terwijl de testhertest overeenkomst op twee opeenvolgende testen een aanzienlijke variatie
vertoonde. Een kort revalidatieprogramma leidde tot een kleine verbetering in de
HJHS scores, terwijl de PedHAL scores gelijk bleven. We concludeerden dat de
constructvaliditeit en de test-hertest betrouwbaarheid goed waren en dat de testhertest overeenkomst enige variatie vertoonde. Daarom is de PedHAL momenteel
waarschijnlijk beter geschikt voor onderzoeksdoeleinden dan voor het monitoren
van individuele patiënten in de klinische praktijk.
In hoofdstuk 5 hebben we onderzocht aan welke fysieke activiteiten
Nederlandse kinderen met hemofilie deelnemen, hoe hun activiteitenniveau zich
verhoudt tot de nationale richtlijn en hoe hun cardiorespiratoire fitheid is ten
opzichte van referentiewaarden. Verder hebben we geanalyseerd of er een
associatie is tussen de intensiteit van de fysieke activiteiten, de gewrichtsstatus en
cardiorespiratoire fitheid. Er werd gevonden dat kinderen met hemofilie net zo
actief zijn als de normale populatie en dat ze een normale cardiorespiratoire fitheid
hebben. Kinderen met ernstige hemofilie zwommen meer en voetbalden (in
wedstrijdverband) minder dan de kinderen met een mildere vorm van hemofilie.
We vonden geen duidelijke relatie tussen het activiteitenniveau, de gewrichtsstatus
en de cardiorespiratoire fitheid, wat mogelijk verklaard kan worden door een
relatief goede gewrichtsstatus en de matige betrouwbaarheid van de vragenlijsten
om zelf gerapporteerde fysieke activiteit te meten. In aanvulling op de
gebruikelijke fysieke activiteit, kan fysieke inspanning ook aangeboden worden op
een gestructureerde manier door middel van bewegingsinterventies. Om de effecten
van bewegingsinterventies beter te begrijpen bij patiënten met hemofilie hebben we
een systematisch literatuuronderzoek uitgevoerd in hoofdstuk 6. Uiteindelijk
voldeden negen artikelen aan onze inclusiecriteria en werden deze geïncludeerd in
een kwalitatieve analyse. Over het algemeen was het evidentieniveau en de
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kwaliteit van de geïncludeerde studies laag en daarom werd de evidentie voor alle
interventies en uitkomstmaten beoordeeld als “slecht”. Daarnaast werden de
trainingsparameters in de geïncludeerde studies niet adequaat beschreven en is er
een gebrek aan uniformiteit ten aanzien van de gebruikte uitkomstmaten.
Suggesties voor het verbeteren van de studiemethodes werden voorgesteld om dit
veld verder te helpen.
Naast late trainingseffecten, kan inspanning ook acute positieve effecten
hebben bij patiënten met hemofilie. In hoofdstuk 7 bestudeerden we het effect van
een zware lichamelijke inspanning op het stollingsfactorgehalte (FVIII) in het
bloed van patiënten met milde of matige hemofilie A. Patiënten lieten een
consistente toename zien van FVIII na inspanning. De mediane toename was 2.5
keer de uitgangswaarde van FVIII activiteit. Hoewel deze resultaten veelbelovend
zijn, is er meer onderzoek nodig om de klinische betekenis van deze bevindingen
voor patiënten aan te tonen.
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Dankwoord (Acknowledgements)
Er zijn veel mensen die direct of indirect hebben bijgedragen aan de
totstandkoming van dit proefschrift. Ik wil hen hierbij nog eens expliciet
bedanken voor hun steun gedurende de afgelopen jaren.
Ten eerste wil ik mijn eerste promotor bedanken: Prof. dr. P.J.M. Helders. Beste
Paul, heel erg bedankt voor het in mij getoonde vertrouwen. Ik herinner mij nog
goed de dag dat je de inspanningsruimte binnenkwam met de boodschap: “Wim
ik heb geld!” Spoedig daarna zat ik bij je aan je bureau een promotieplan door te
nemen. Ik heb veel geleerd van de manier waarop jij (soms tegen de stroom in)
richting koos voor het Kinderbewegingscentrum. Jouw visionaire aanpak heeft
onder andere geresulteerd in het befaamde inspanningslab in het Wilhelmina
Kinderziekenhuis. Bedankt voor de vele wijze lessen tijdens deze periode en voor
de introductie in de wereld van de hemofilie in Roemenië.
Ook mijn tweede promotor Prof. dr. D.H. Biesma wil ik bedanken. Beste Douwe,
hoewel wij niet veel contactmomenten hebben gehad, ben ik vereerd dat je als
tweede promotor betrokken bent geweest bij dit promotietraject.
Copromotor Dr. J. van der Net, beste Janjaap, ik wil je bedanken voor de fijne
samenwerking, je onvermoeibare steun en je oplossingsgerichtheid. Jouw
creativiteit en bevlogenheid zijn zeer belangrijk geweest tijdens mijn tijd als
promovendus. Wanneer ik was vastgelopen met een project zag jij nog minimaal
drie mogelijke uitwegen. Erg bijzonder. Dank ook voor het coachende optreden
gedurende deze periode.
Copromotor Dr. K. Fischer, beste Kathelijn, ik heb je leren kennen als een zeer
ambitieuze en professionele arts en onderzoeker die zorg en onderzoek op hoog
niveau weet te combineren. Ik heb bewondering voor je intelligentie en
doortastendheid. Bedankt voor de grondige en constructieve feedback op mijn
manuscripten. Dankzij jou is de kwaliteit daarvan enorm verbeterd.
Dr. T. Takken, beste Tim, zonder jou was dit proefschrift er helemáál niet
geweest. Na een e-mail van mij met het verzoek om werkervaring op te komen
doen in de wereld van de klinische inspanningsfysiologie zat ik al snel bij je aan
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je bureau. ‘Snel’ bleek trouwens een handelsmerk van je te zijn, want jouw
productie is jaloersmakend: nu al 100+ PubMED publicaties en voorlopig zit de
sleet er nog niet in. Jouw productiviteit, inventiviteit en vasthoudendheid zijn
voor mij een inspiratiebron geweest. Daarnaast ben ik je dank verschuldigd voor
je begeleiding bij het uitvoeren en interpreteren van klinische inspanningstesten
in het WKZ. Jouw kennis van de klinische inspanningsfysiologie is ongeëvenaard
en van grote waarde voor de pediatrie in Nederland. Ook zeer bedankt voor je
waardevolle bijdragen aan enkele hoofdstukken van dit proefschrift. Ik ga de
komende jaren mijn best doen de opgedane kennis over de klinische
inspanningsfysiologie in te zetten voor patiënten met kanker.
Ik wil alle collega’s van het Kinderbewegingscentrum van het Wilhelmina
Kinderziekenhuis bedanken. Jullie hebben mijn tijd in het WKZ zeer aangenaam
gemaakt. Door de sfeer op de afdeling, die een combinatie was van professioneel
en amicaal, was het er fijn werken. Ik wil bedanken (in willekeurige volgorde):
Dr. Marja Schoenmakers, Dr. Ron van Empelen, Dr. Marco van Brussel, Drs.
Lianne Verhage, Drs. Rogier de Knikker, Drs. Bart Bongers, Drs. Maarten
Werkman, Drs. Johannes Noordstar, Dr. Martijn Pisters, Bart Bartels, Rian
Eijsermans, Dr. Janke de Groot, Drs. Jacqueline Nuysink, Drs. Maaike Sprong en
Drs. Patrick van der Torre. Er was ook ruimte voor vertier buiten het WKZ: het
weekendje mountainbiken in de Ardennen bijvoorbeeld, zal ik niet snel vergeten.
Speciaal dankwoord aan de dames van het secretariaat: Annemiek, Carla en
Sonja, bedankt voor de snelle en kundige afhandeling van zaken en bovenal voor
de gezellige praatjes! Drs. Kitty Bos, bedankt voor het werk dat je verricht hebt in
het kader van je afstudeerstage. Je hebt daarmee een waardevolle bijdrage
geleverd aan dit proefschrift. Ik vond het leuk om je tijdens deze stageperiode te
begeleiden. Dr. Raoul Engelbert en Dr. Frank van Genderen, bedankt voor jullie
inspanningen om het onderzoek naar de PedHAL mogelijk te maken.
Ik wil de werknemers van de Van Creveldkliniek bedanken, in het bijzonder Dr.
Ingrid den Uijl, en Els de Haan, met wie ik samen aan hoofdstuk 7 van dit
proefschrift heb mogen werken. Verder wil ik alle patiënten en ouders bedanken
die mee hebben willen doen aan de studies. De studies in dit proefschrift zijn dóór
jullie, maar vooral ook vóór jullie uitgevoerd. Ik hoop daarom dat de kennis die is
opgedaan in de verschillende onderzoeken bij zullen dragen aan de zorg voor
patiënten met hemofilie.
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I would like to thank everyone who participated in the Romanian study. A special
word of thanks to Prof. dr. Margit Serban for being such a wonderful host as well
as a generous and friendly person. Dear Margit, many thanks for having us at
Buzias and I would love to come and visit again whenever I have the opportunity.
Dr. Alinamara Lacatusu, thank you for all the hard work concerning the study, it
couldn’t have been done without you. Radu Vilau, thank you for your high
quality translations of the study material, for translating our oral presentations in
Buzias and for being such a wonderful “tour guide” in and around Timisoara!
Graag wil ik alle co-auteurs bedanken voor de waardevolle bijdrage aan de
manuscripten. I would like to thank all co-authors for their valuable contribution
to the manuscripts.
De leden van de lees- en promotiecommissie, Prof. dr. A.B.J. Prakken, Prof. dr.
E.E.S. Nieuwenhuis, Prof. dr. M.J. Schuurmans, Prof. dr. CP van der Schans en
Dr. R.E.G. Schutgens, bedankt dat jullie naast je drukke werkzaamheden de tijd
hebben genomen om mijn proefschrift te lezen en te beoordelen.
Mijn paranimfen, ex-collega Dr. Erik Hulzebos en zus Cindy Groen, ik wil jullie
bedanken dat jullie op deze grote dag aan mijn zijde willen staan. Beste Cindy,
het voelde meteen goed om je te vragen voor deze dag. Wij hebben een goede
band. Misschien komt dat wel door de vele uren die wij samen hebben
doorgebracht op de ijsbaan tijdens onze gezamenlijke sportieve carrière. Beste
Erik, ik heb je ervaren als een zeer fijne en inspirerende collega. Naast de
serieuze zaken bleef je altijd oog houden voor sfeer en humor op de werkvloer. Ik
noem, als willekeurig voorbeeld, jouw (ongevraagde) “tegeltjeswijsheden” op de
maandagochtend (“succes is een keuze, maar niet elke keuze is een succes”).
Daarnaast heb ik erg veel van je geleerd over het klinisch redeneren op het gebied
van de klinische inspanningsfysiologie. Ik ben vereerd dat je de uitnodiging voor
de rol als paranimf hebt geaccepteerd.
Ik wil al mijn vrienden bedanken voor de broodnodige ontspanningsmomenten,
de leuke weekendjes weg, de concertbezoeken en de (fiets)vakanties. Ik hoop dat
er nog vele zullen volgen!
Erik de Hart, bedankt voor je creatieve ontwerp van de kaft van dit proefschrift en
de uitnodigingen voor de verdediging. Mooi werk!
178
De familie Morsink, heel erg bedankt voor de niet aflatende belangstelling en
steun tijdens de afgelopen periode, maar eigenlijk altijd.
Pap en mam, bedankt dat jullie mij altijd hebben gesteund. Jullie hebben mij de
mogelijkheid en vrijheid gegeven om me te ontwikkelen en kijk eens waar ik
vandaag sta! Gerrie, Cindy en Sonja, bedankt voor het vormen van een warm
thuisfront.
Tot slot: lieve Gabriëlle, waar was ik geweest zonder jou? Ik wil je bedanken
voor je liefde, je luisterend oor en je humor. Op vele momenten heb je mij er
doorheen gesleept met een peptalk of gewoon door je aanwezigheid. De
afgelopen jaren waren pittig te noemen (ik promoveren, jij de GZ-opleiding),
maar we hebben het maar mooi voor elkaar gekregen! Laten we nu snel op
vakantie gaan! -x 179
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Curriculum Vitae
De auteur van dit proefschrift werd geboren op 17 november 1981 te Hoorn
(NH). Hij volgde het middelbaar onderwijs (VWO) op het Martinus College in
Grootebroek en behaalde het eindexamen in 2001. Aansluitend begon hij aan de
studie Bewegingswetenschappen aan de Vrije Universiteit te Amsterdam. Na het
behalen van de propedeuse werd gekozen voor de afstudeerrichting “bewegen in
de context van sport”. Het doctoraalexamen werd behaald in 2006. De eerste
onderzoekservaring werd opgedaan tijdens enkele korte dienstverbanden bij de
faculteit Bewegingswetenschappen. In november 2007 kwam hij in dienst bij het
Kinderbewegingscentrum van het Wilhelmina Kinderziekenhuis, onderdeel van
het Universitair Medisch Centrum in Utrecht. Daar is hij gestart met zijn
promotieonderzoek onder leiding van Prof. dr. P.J.M. Helders, waarvan de
resultaten zijn beschreven in dit proefschrift. Daarnaast heeft hij zich, onder
leiding van Dr. Tim Takken, bekwaamd in de klinische inspanningsfysiologie.
Momenteel is hij in dienst van het Nederlands Kanker Instituut - Antoni Van
Leeuwenhoek Ziekenhuis (NKI-AVL) in Amsterdam. Daar werkt hij als
coördinator en onderzoeker aan een project voor patiënten met borst- of
longkanker. Doel van het project is om door middel van een internetportaal
patiënten beter te informeren en ze te ondersteunen om fysiek actief te worden of
te blijven.
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List of publications
1. Groen WG, Takken T, van der Net J, Helders PJ, Fischer K. Habitual physical
activity in Dutch children and adolescents with haemophilia. Haemophilia. 2011
Sep;17(5):e906-12.
2. Groen W, van der Net J, Bos K, Abad A, Bergstrom BM, Blanchette VS,
Feldman BM, Funk S, Helders P, Hilliard P, Manco-Johnson M, Petrini P,
Zourikian N, Fischer K. Joint health and functional ability in children with
haemophilia who receive intensive replacement therapy. Haemophilia. 2011
Sep;17(5):783-790.
3. Groen W, Unal E, Nørgaard M, Maillard S, Scott J, Berggren K, Sandstedt E,
Stavrakidou M, van der Net J. Comparing different revisions of the Childhood
Health Assessment Questionnaire to reduce the ceiling effect and improve score
distribution: Data from a multi-center European cohort study of children with JIA.
Pediatr Rheumatol Online J. 2010 May 17;8:16.
4. Van Dijk M, Groen W, Moors S, Bekkering P, Hegeman A, Janssen A, Takken
T, van der Net J, Helders PJ. The Dutch translation of the revised Childhood
Health Assessment Questionnaire: a preliminary study of score distribution. Clin
Exp Rheumatol. 2010 Mar-Apr;28(2):275-80.
5. Groen WG, van der Net J, Helders PJ, Fischer K. Development and preliminary
testing of a Paediatric Version of the Haemophilia Activities List (PedHAL).
Haemophilia. 2010 Mar;16(2):281-9.
6. Groen WG, Hulzebos HJ, Helders PJ, Takken T. Oxygen uptake to work rate
slope in children with a heart, lung or muscle disease. Int J Sports Med. 2010
Mar;31(3):202-6.
7. Hettinga FJ, Valent L, Groen W, van Drongelen S, de Groot S, van der Woude
LH. Hand-cycling: an active form of wheeled mobility, recreation, and sports. Phys
Med Rehabil Clin N Am. 2010 Feb;21(1):127-40.
184
8. Groen WG, van der Woude LH, De Koning JJ. A power balance model for
handcycling. Disabil Rehabil. 2010;32(26):2165-71.
9. Takken T, Groen WG, Hulzebos EH, Ernsting CG, van Hasselt PM, Prinsen BH,
Helders PJ, Visser G. Exercise stress testing in children with metabolic or
neuromuscular disorders. Int J Pediatr. 2010;2010. pii: 254829.
10. Takken T, Blank AC, Hulzebos EH, van Brussel M, Groen WG, Helders PJ.
Cardiopulmonary exercise testing in congenital heart disease: (contra)indications
and interpretation. Neth Heart J. 2009 Oct;17(10):385-92.
11. Takken T, Blank AC, Hulzebos EH, van Brussel M, Groen WG, Helders PJ.
Cardiopulmonary exercise testing in congenital heart disease: equipment and test
protocols. Neth Heart J. 2009 Sep;17(9):339-44.

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