OBJECTIVE: To study the effects of a physical training program on exercise capacity, muscle force, and subjective fatigue levels in patients with mild to moderate forms of osteogenesis imperfecta (OI).
STUDY DESIGN: Thirty-four children with OI type I or IV were randomly assigned to either a 12-week graded exercise program or care as usual for 3 months. Exercise capacity and muscle force were studied; subjective fatigue, perceived competence, and health-related quality of life were secondary outcomes. All outcomes were measured at baseline (T = 0), after intervention (T = 1), and after 6 and 9 months (T = 2 and T = 3, respectively).
RESULTS: After intervention (T = 1), peak oxygen consumption (VO2peak), relative VO2peak (VO2peak/kg), maximal working capacity (Wmax), and muscle force were significantly improved (17%, 18%, 10%, and 12%, respectively) compared with control values. Subjective fatigue decreased borderline statistically significantly. Follow-up at T = 2 showed a significant decrease of the improvements measured at T = 1 of VO2peak, but VO2peak/kg, Wmax, and subjective fatigue showed no significant difference. At T = 3, we found a further decrease of the gained improvements.
CONCLUSION: A supervised training program can improve aerobic capacity and muscle force and reduces levels of subjective fatigue in children with OI type I and IV in a safe and effective manner.