Objective: The aim of this study was to assess the effect of an adopted Arthritis Self-Management Programme (ASMP) with an added exercise component among osteoarthritic knee sufferers in Hong Kong.
Methods: An experimental study with 88 participants assigned to an intervention group and 94 participants to a control group. One hundred and forty-nine participants (81.9%) completed the 1 week and 120 participants (65.6%) the 16 week post-intervention assessments. Participants in the intervention group received a 6-week ASMP with an added exercise component. Outcome measures included arthritic pain and fatigue rating, practice of light exercise routines, functional status, and number of unplanned arthritis-related medical consultations. To assess the programme's effect on outcome measures, the between-groups and within-group mean changes were compared using Mann-Whitney U-test and Friedman test.
Results: At 16 weeks, there were significant mean changes between groups in four outcome measures: reduction in arthritis pain (p=0.0001) and fatigue (p=0.008), and increased duration of weekly light exercise practice (p=0.0001) and knee flexion (p=0.004). The ability to perform daily activities and the number of unplanned arthritis-related medical consultations show statistically significant improvements between three time-points within the intervention group only (p=0.0001 and p=0.005, respectively), but not between-groups (p=0.14 and p=0.86, respectively). Both groups apparently had no changes in muscle strength.
Conclusion: Our findings suggest that the intervention had a positive effect in reducing pain, fatigue, knee range of motion, the practice of exercise routines, the number of medical consultations and in improving functional status and over a 16-week period.
Practice implications: The self-management programme we applied took into account the local context and the ethnicity of the group. This process is worth further exploration and testing in different groups.