Hemophilia patient beliefs and experience with balance falls

Data show common barriers and facilitators for physical activity

HTRS 2017 (Scottsdale, AZ, April 6-8): Hemophilia Patients & Their Beliefs and Experiences with Balance, Falls, and Exercise Study presented at the Hemostasis and Thrombosis Research Society (HTRS) biannual meeting showed the majority of patients with hemophilia (PWH) reported problems with balance, most often attributed to joint problems. Responding PWH believed that strength and keeping active could positively impact balance, but reported worry and fear related to falling. PWH reporting regular exercise did not view exercise as dangerous, while those who did not consistently exercise expressed concern that the risks of exercise may outweigh the benefits. Pain was the most common barrier to exercise and having someone to exercise with was a commonly reported facilitator. Barriers to participating in physical therapy included poor evidence of its effectiveness and distrust in the physical therapist. Facilitators of participation in activity included previous positive experiences in physical therapy and the relationship with the physical therapist. Authors conclude that some beliefs and experiences are common to those of the general population and some are unique to hemophilia.  A better understanding surrounding the beliefs and experiences of patients with hemophilia related to balance falls and exercise may promote a stronger therapeutic alliance with physical therapists and may enhance the effectiveness of fall prevention efforts.