Family practice nurses supporting self-management in older patients with mild osteoarthritis: a randomized trial

BMC Fam Pract. 2008 Jan 28:9:7. doi: 10.1186/1471-2296-9-7.


Background: Supporting self-management intends to improve life-style, which is beneficial for patients with mild osteoarthritis (OA). We evaluated a nurse-based intervention on older OA patients' self-management with the aim to assess its effects on mobility and functioning.

Methods: Randomized controlled trial of patients (> or = 65 years) with mild hip or knee OA from nine family practices in the Netherlands. Intervention consisted of supporting patients' self-management of OA symptoms using a practice-based nurse. Outcome measures were patients' mobility, using the Timed Up and Go test (TUG), and patient reported functioning, using an arthritis specific scale (Dutch AIMS2 SF).

Results: Fifty-one patients were randomized to the intervention group and 53 to the control group. Patient-reported functioning improved on four scales in the intervention group compared to one scale in the control group. However, this result was not significant. Mobility improved in both groups, without a significant difference between the two groups. There were no differences between the groups regarding consultations with family physicians or physiotherapists, or medication use.

Conclusion: A nurse-based intervention on older OA patients' self-management did not improve self-reported functioning, mobility or patients' use of health care resources.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Family Practice / methods*
  • Female
  • Geriatric Nursing*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Netherlands
  • Nurse-Patient Relations*
  • Nursing Research
  • Osteoarthritis, Hip / nursing*
  • Osteoarthritis, Hip / prevention & control
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee / nursing*
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee / prevention & control
  • Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care*
  • Self Care / methods*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Workforce