PT Critically Appraised Topics

Document Type

Critically Appraised Topic

Publication Date


Clinical Scenario

During our last clinical internships, we both worked at clinics that specialized in warm water aquatic therapy. We saw many patients with fibromyalgia who felt that this treatment was very beneficial. We are interested in determining whether this intervention is useful for this patient population. We will be looking specifically at middle-aged women, as this is the population most frequently affected by this disease. The outcome measure we will examine is the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ).

Clinical Question

Is Pool Therapy more effective than inactivity at decreasing the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ) score for middle aged women with Fibromyalgia?

Clinical Bottom Line

Based on the results presented in Tomas-Carus et al. (2008), Tomas-Carus et al. (2007) and Munguia-Izquierdo et al., there is moderate evidence to suggest that for middle aged women with fibromyalgia, an intervention of pool therapy results in a lower Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ) score when compared to inactivity or normal recreational exercise. Overall, pool therapy appears to have some benefit for patients with fibromyalgia, as measured by the FIQ. Current evidence is limited and further research with larger sample sizes is necessary to draw further conclusions about this treatment.