Exercise Adherence Improving Long-Term Patient Outcome in Patients With Osteoarthritis of the Hip and/or Knee

Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2010 Aug;62(8):1087-94. doi: 10.1002/acr.20182.


Objective: To determine the effect of patient exercise adherence within the prescribed physical therapy treatment period and after physical therapy discharge on patient outcomes of pain, physical function, and patient self-perceived effect in individuals with osteoarthritis (OA) of the hip and/or knee.

Methods: We performed a prospective observational followup study in which 150 patients with OA of the hip and/or knee receiving exercise therapy were followed for 60 months. Data were obtained from a randomized controlled trial, with assessments at baseline and 3, 15, and 60 months of followup. The association between exercise adherence and patient outcomes of pain, physical function, and self-perceived effect was examined using generalized estimating equations analyses.

Results: Adherence to recommended home exercises and being more physically active were significantly associated with better treatment outcomes of pain, self-reported physical function, physical performance, and self-perceived effect. The association between adherence and outcome was consistent over time. Adherence to home activities was only associated with better self-perceived effect.

Conclusion: Better adherence to recommended home exercises as well as being more physically active improves the long-term effectiveness of exercise therapy in patients with OA of the hip and/or knee. Both within and after the treatment period, better adherence is associated with better patient outcomes of pain, physical function, and self-perceived effect. Since exercise adherence declines over time, future research should focus on how exercise behavior can be stimulated and maintained in the long term.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Exercise
  • Exercise Therapy*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Knee Joint / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Activity
  • Osteoarthritis / complications
  • Osteoarthritis / rehabilitation*
  • Osteoarthritis / therapy
  • Pain / complications
  • Pain / rehabilitation
  • Pain Management
  • Patient Compliance*
  • Physical Therapy Modalities
  • Treatment Outcome