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Upper limb rehabilitation in fascioscapularhumeral dystrophy (FSHD): a patients’ perspective


Upper limb rehabilitation in fascioscapularhumeral dystrophy (FSHD): a patients’ perspective Thumbnail



Objective To identify what exercise modalities people living with Facioscapulohumeral Dystrophy (FSHD) are undertaking in the community as a part of their ongoing rehabilitation and 2) what future research projects would gain the support of people with FSHD. Design An online questionnaire comprised of open and closed questions. Conventional content analysis was used for open questions and quantitative analysis was used for closed questions. Setting Online questionnaire distributed to a UK FSHD registry. Participants 232 patients on the UK FSHD registry. Interventions None Main Outcome Measure None Results A response rate of 43.6% was achieved with 232 out of 532 patients completing the survey. Despite 85.8% of patients suffering from shoulder instability which affects daily living, only 44.4% engaged with exercises targeting the upper body. The themes from the data were: Understanding of disease mechanism shaping exercise choice, Lack of understanding about the condition and the benefit of exercise, Support from professionals, Barriers to exercise, and Thoughts about future research. Participants (92.2%) agreed additional research into upper limb exercises is needed and felt a 3-month arm cycling intervention with monthly clinical visits and MRI imaging would be appropriate. Conclusions Exercise selection was variable amongst FSHD patients and lack of information, pain, fatigue, availability and access to facilities, cost and time were identified as barriers to exercise. This may account for the limited engagement with upper-limb rehabilitation despite the high percentage of shoulder instability in patients with FSHD. Further research is needed to develop evidence-based exercise interventions and guidance for upper limb exercise prescription in FSHD and patients are supportive of this

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 16, 2021
Online Publication Date Dec 10, 2021
Publication Date 2021-12
Publicly Available Date May 30, 2023
Journal Archives of Rehabilitation Research and Clinical Translation
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 3
Issue 4
Article Number 100157
Publisher URL


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