Cost effectiveness of a two-year home exercise program for the treatment of knee pain

Arthritis Rheum. 2005 Jun 15;53(3):388-94. doi: 10.1002/art.21173.


Objective: To assess the cost effectiveness of a 2-year home exercise program for the treatment of knee pain.

Methods: A total of 759 adults aged > or = 45 years were randomized to receive exercise therapy, monthly telephone contact, exercise therapy and telephone contact, or no intervention. Efficacy was measured using self-reported knee pain at 2 years. Costs to both the National Health Service and to the patient were included.

Results: Exercise therapy was associated with higher costs and better effectiveness. Direct costs for the interventions were pound 112 for the exercise program and pound 61 for the monthly telephone support. Participants allocated to receive exercise therapy were significantly more likely to incur higher medical costs than those in the no-exercise groups (mean difference pound 225; 95% confidence interval pound 218, pound 232; P < 0.001).

Conclusion: Exercise therapy is associated with improvements in knee pain, but the cost of delivering the exercise program is unlikely to be offset by any reduction in medical resource use.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Exercise Therapy / economics*
  • Female
  • Home Care Services / economics
  • Humans
  • Knee*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee / therapy
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Pain / economics
  • Pain Management*