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Table 3 Mental and/or physical health outcomes in physiotherapy related studies in Sub-Saharan Africa

From: Physiotherapy for people with mental health problems in Sub-Saharan African countries: a systematic review

First author Country Design Participants Physiotherapy intervention Mental and/or physical health outcomes* MQ
Aweto 2016 Nigeria RCT 18 (32.1 ± 5.4 years) outpatients with HIV; BMI = 26.1 ± 1.4 vs 15 controls with HIV with care as usual (30.7 ± 5.8 years); 10♂/33 6 weeks, 3*week, 30 min moderate intensity aerobic exercise on a cycle ergometer provided by a physiotherapist The Beck Depression Index score only reduced significantly in the exercise group [10.3 ± 6.5 vs.3.5 ± 1.3;P < 0.001]  
Balchin 2016 South-Africa RCT 30♂ moderately depressed; mean age = 25.4 years, mean BMI = 26.9 6 weeks, 3*week, 60 min high vs moderate vs low intensity aerobic exercise; providers unknown The HAM-D (15.9 ± 1.8 vs. 5.7 ± 5.8 and 16.4 ± 1.4 vs. 6.6 ± 5.0 vs. 17.1 ± 1.2 vs. 11.8 ± 3.9, respectively) and MADRS 12.7 ± 4.0 vs. 7.0 ± 6.7 and 14.4 ± 4.3 vs. 9.0 ± 6.7 vs. 18.8 ± 6.4 vs. 15.0 ± 5.2, respectively) only reduced significantly in the high and moderate intensity aerobic exercise +
Maharaj 2011 South-Africa RCT 26 (16♂) (19–58 years) outpatients on antiviral therapy vs 26 (18♂) (22–51 years) weekly aerobic exercise on cycle ergometer (2*10 min) and treadmill (2*10 min) at 50–70% of the age predicted maximum heart rate for 3 months Significant improvements in all SF-36 domains (P < 0.05) for the experimental group compared with the control group, with the physical SF-36 summary scores (P < 0.018) and mental SF-36 summary scores (P < 0.021) scores being significantly higher after exercise. +
Mutimura 2008 Rwanda RCT 50 (20♂) (37.5 ± 6.9 years) outpatients with HIV; 88% employed; BMI = 24.4 ± 2.7; 20% smoking vs 50 (20♂) controls with HIV with care as usual (37.8 ± 5.5 years) 26 weeks, 3*week, 90 min moderate intensity aerobic and resistance training; providers unknown At 6 months, scores on psychological quality of life [1.3 ± 0.3 vs. 0.5 ± 0.1; P < 0.0001], self-esteem [1.3 ± 0.8 vs. 0.1 ± 0.6); P < 0.001], body image [1.5 ± 0.6 vs. 0.0 ± 0.5; P < 0.001] and emotional stress [1.6 ± 0.7 vs. 0.2 ± 0.5; P < 0.001], improved more in the exercise group  
Harris 2007 Sierra Leone Qualitative Three studies: [1] 6♀ (16–17 years), [2] 8♂ (23–24 years), [3] 12♂ (8 aged 18) child soldiers and torture survivors 9 to 16 weekly sessions of dance movement therapy with body awareness exercises within psychotherapy Reduction in self-reported post-traumatic stress symptoms (avoidance and arousal), anxiety and depression NA
  1. RCT Randomized controlled trial, HAM-D Hamilton depression score, MADRS Montgomery-Åsberg Depression Rating Scale, SF-36 Health Related Quality of Life Short Form – 36. MQ Methodological quality: risk of bias was assessed on random sequence generation, allocation concealment, blinding of participants, blinding of those delivering the intervention, blinding of outcome assessors, incomplete data outcome, selective reporting or others. Studies presenting adequate allocation concealment and complete presentation of outcome data (intention-to-treat analysis) and blinding outcome assessors are considered studies with low risk of bias (high quality trials, coded with “+”); NA = not applicable (no RCT)