• aqua-gymnastic;
  • haemophilia;
  • Haem-A-QoL;
  • HEP-Test-Q;
  • physical performance;
  • quality of life

Summary.  Sport is increasingly recommended for haemophilic patients due to physical and psychological benefits. ‘WATERCISE’ is a specific aqua-training programme for haemophiliacs in which endurance, strength, coordination and mobility are trained. In the WAT-QoL study benefits and risks of regular WATERCISE training sessions were investigated in terms of health-related quality of life (HRQoL), physical functioning (PF), orthopaedic joint status (OJS), bleeding frequency and factor consumption. Patients in the WATERCISE group attended an aqua-training programme once a week for 1 h over 12 months, patients in the control group did not. Patients were matched for clinical and demographic data. Information on clinical data, orthopaedic status, PF (HEP-Test-Q) and HRQoL were collected in both groups at baseline and at follow-up (6 and 12 months). Twenty-eight adult severely affected haemophilic patients (WATERCISE group: 10 haemophilia A (HA), 3 haemophilia B (HB) patients; control group: 12 HA and 3 HB patients) were enrolled (aged 40.68 ± 12.7 years). Baseline data (body mass indices, OJS, sportive activities, HRQoL and PF) were well distributed between groups. After 12 months the WATERCISE group reported a significantly better PF (MW = 65.22, SD = 11.3; MC = 52.5, SD = 15.0), especially for endurance (< 0.004). Although always differently reported by the patients within the WATERCISE group, HRQoL did not prove to be significantly different between groups. WATERCISE seems to have a positive effect on the PF of patients suffering from haemophilia. These study findings need to be further investigated in a larger study group.