Question: Does behavioural graded activity result in better exercise adherence and more physical activity than usual care in people with osteoarthritis of the hip or knee?
Design: Analysis of secondary outcomes of a cluster-randomised trial with concealed allocation, assessor blinding, and intention-to-treat analysis.
Participants: Two hundred patients with hip and/or knee osteoarthritis.
Intervention: Experimental group received 18 sessions of behavioural graded activity over 12 weeks and up to 7 booster sessions over the next year. The control group received 18 sessions of usual care over 12 weeks according to the Dutch physiotherapy guideline.
Outcome measures: Exercise adherence was measured using a questionnaire and physical activity was measured using the SQUASH questionnaire at baseline, 13, and 65 weeks.
Results: Adherence to recommended exercises was significantly higher in the experimental group than in the control group at 13 weeks (OR 4.3, 95% CI 2.1 to 9.0) and at 65 weeks (OR 3.0, 95% CI 1.5 to 6.0). Significantly more of the experimental than the control group met the recommendations for physical activity at 13 weeks (OR 5.3, 95% CI 1.9 to 14.8) and at 65 weeks (OR 2.9, 95% CI 1.2 to 6.7).
Conclusion: Behavioural graded activity results in better exercise adherence and more physical activity than usual care in people with osteoarthritis of the hip or knee, both in the short- and long-term.
Trial registration: NCT00522106.