2246 – Evidence-Based Practice for Chronic Issues

Intermediate / Lecture


Washington, DC / Thursday, February 21, 2019 – 8:00-11:00 am – 3.0 credit hours

(Classroom: 8:00-11:00 am)


Faculty: David Berry, PhD, AT, ATC, ATRIC


COURSE DESCRIPTION: Aquatic-based exercise can help people with chronic diseases. For people with arthritis, it improves the use of affected joints without worsening symptoms.9 People with rheumatoid arthritis have more health improvements after participating in hydrotherapy than with other activities.10 Aquatic-based exercise also improves the use of affected joints and decreases pain from osteoarthritis.11 Evidence relative to control suggests that aquatic-based exercise and training is beneficial for improving wellness, symptoms, and fitness in adults with fibromyalgia. An aquatic Ai Chi program appeared to be a valid treatment option for patients diagnosed with mild to moderate Parkinson's Disease for the treatment of pain, balance and functional capacity13, while a regular supervised aquatic exercise program arrested chronic kidney progression.14 Research has revealed that aquatic exercise enhanced the aspects of multiple sclerosis patients’ quality of life and should be considered along with other methods of treatment for improvement in quality of their lives.15 Aquatic-based exercise and training is now considered safe and is believed to provide a promising treatment approach which may be used to assist in the management of COPD, but only after understanding the physiological effects of head out of water immersion (HOWI) exercise.16


This session will examine the current scientific evidence for, application of and effects of aquatic-based exercise and training on symptoms and function associated with chronic disease. We will attempt to answer the question, “What are the effects of aquatic-based exercise and training interventions in the treatment of people (adults and children) with chronic diseases on outcomes such as pain, balance, quality of life?”



At the conclusion of this session, participants will be able to:

1)  Define the terms chronic disease, chronic illness, co-morbidities among other relevant terms.

2)  Define and describe the characteristics of different types of chronic diseases accounting for the nation’s health care costs.

3)  Identify and distinguish how aquatic-based exercise and training interventions may improve exercise capacity and health-related quality of life in people with chronic diseases.

4)  Explain and value why the properties of water allow for the physiological changes seen with aquatic-based exercise and training interventions in people with chronic disease.

5)  Identify, analyze, and interpret the current scientific evidence to determine the effectiveness and efficacy of aquatic-based exercise and training interventions, especially as they are related to patient outcomes (e.g., multidimensional unction, self-reported physical function, pain, stiffness, muscle strength, submaximal cardiorespiratory function, withdrawal rates and adverse effects).

6)  Design, implement, and compare and contrast (via case examples) aquatic-based exercise and training interventions including training procedures, equipment, and safety concerns when interacting with people with chronic disease.

7)  Assemble best practice guidelines for aquatic-based exercise and training interventions concerning dose, intensity, and frequency. 

8)  Demonstrate the training techniques and procedures discussed above (via video in the lecture where applicable).


FACULTY: David C. Berry, PhD, AT, ATC, ATRIC, is a Professor, Athletic Training Program Director at SVSU, and author (Emergency Trauma Management for Athletic Trainers). He serves as an active member of the Board of Certification, American Red Cross Scientific Advisory Committee, and the Sports Education Council (Michigan Cardiovascular Institute) educating the community and professionals on emergency planning and sudden cardiac awareness.