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Swedish OA self-management program earns high marks



The results

Roughly 15% of patients enrolled in the registry declined the exercise option. Ms. Jönsson’s analysis focused on those who opted to participate in an exercise program, 40% of whom selected the home exercise option. This analysis included 30,682 patients with knee OA and 16,363 with hip OA. They returned to the physical therapist for a face-to-face reassessment after 3 months, and they completed a mailed outcome-oriented questionnaire at 12 months.

The BOA intervention was more effective in reducing pain in the knee OA group than in those with hip OA. A statistically significant reduction in self-assessed pain scores on a 0-10 scale was seen in both the knee and hip OA groups at 3 and 12 months; however, only the knee OA patients achieved a clinically important decrease in pain, defined as at least a 15% drop in pain scores. Their pain scores improved from 5.24 at baseline to 4.07 at 3 months and 4.23 at 12 months. In the hip OA patients, pain scores went from 5.39 at baseline to 4.56 at 3 months and 4.7 at 12 months.

However, at 3 and 12 months, significantly fewer patients in both the hip and knee OA groups reported experiencing pain more than once per week, compared with baseline. They also took fewer pain-killing medications, reported less avoidance behavior involving fear of movement, were less willing to undergo joint surgery, and scored significantly higher on the five-level EQ-5D quality-of-life measure than at baseline. Moreover, fewer patients were on sick leave at the 12-month follow-up than at baseline, an outcome that wasn’t assessed at 3 months.

Adherence to the group exercise classes was “quite low,” according to Ms. Jönsson, and poor adherence was reflected in smaller reductions in pain scores. Only 30% of patients who elected the supervised group exercise option attended 10 of the 12 sessions, she noted.

Ms. Jönsson reported having no financial conflicts regarding her study. The BOA program is funded by the Swedish government.

SOURCE: Jönsson TS et al. Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2019 Apr;27(suppl 1):S497, Abstract 717.

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