Department of Physical Therapy Student Theses, Dissertations and Capstones

Document Type

Thesis - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Master of Physical Therapy (MPT)

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College of Health Care Sciences - Physical Therapy Department

Publication Date / Copyright Date



Nova Southeastern University


Purpose: To determine the effects over time on perceived pain levels of individuals with osteoarthritis who participate in aquatic therapy, and to investigate whether an aquatic program can change perceptions of how osteoarthritic pain interferes in daily life.

Participants: 8/18 subjects completed and returned both pain questionnaires. 9/25 controls completed and returned both pain questionnaires.

Methodology: The Brief Pain Inventory (BPI) was given to participants, and four weeks later it was given to them again. The BPI was used to measure pain intensity, interference of pain with the participant's life, pain relief, pain quality, and perceptions of the cause of pain. Questions regarding demographic characteristics were added to the BPI. Data analysis included calculating composite index scores, a repeated measure ANOVA, and a paired-sample t-test.

Results: After the four weeks time, controls' pain levels had not changed, and subjects' pain levels had decreased but were not statistically significant. After the four weeks time, subjects' pain interference scores had significantly decreased. Controls' pain interference scores had increased over the four weeks but were not statistically significant.

Conclusion: Individuals with osteoarthritis who participate in an aquatic therapy program have better perceptions of how pain interferes with their daily life.


Physical Therapy

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