Efficacy of patient education and supervised exercise vs patient education alone in patients with hip osteoarthritis: a single blind randomized clinical trial

Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2010 Oct;18(10):1237-43. doi: 10.1016/j.joca.2010.05.015. Epub 2010 Jul 13.


Objective: To compare the efficacy of patient education and supervised exercise with that of patient education alone for the management of pain in patients with hip osteoarthritis (OA).

Design: Single blind randomized clinical trial.

Setting: Recruitment of patients from hospitals, primary health care and advertisement, Oslo, Norway.

Participants: 109 patients with radiographic and symptomatic hip OA with mild to moderate symptoms.

Interventions: Patient education (PE). Patient education and supervised exercise (PE+SE).

Primary outcome measure: The pain subscale of the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC pain).

Results: No significant between group differences were found for WOMAC pain over the 16-month follow-up. Significant improvements were found for the secondary outcome WOMAC physical function (P=0.011) in the group receiving PE+SE compared to the group receiving PE only. No significant differences were found for WOMAC stiffness, the SF-36 subscales or the activity scale. The effect sizes (95% confidence interval) for WOMAC pain were -0.26 (0.11, -0.64), -0.35 (0.07, -0.77), and -0.30 (0.15, -0.75), and for WOMAC physical function -0.29 (0.09, -0.67), -0.48 (-0.06, -0.91), and -0.47 (-0.02, -0.93) at 4, 10 and 16 months, respectively, in favor of the group receiving both PE and SE. All patients attended the three-session PE program, and 75% performed ≥16 sessions of the 12-week SE program.

Conclusion: The study could not demonstrate a significant difference in pain reduction over time between PE+SE vs PE alone. Adding SE to PE may improve physical function, but the magnitude of possible benefit is unknown as the 95% confidence intervals around the mean difference were wide.

Trial registration: Clinical Trials NCT00319423.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Exercise Therapy / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteoarthritis, Hip / complications
  • Osteoarthritis, Hip / physiopathology
  • Osteoarthritis, Hip / rehabilitation*
  • Pain / etiology
  • Pain / rehabilitation
  • Pain Measurement / methods
  • Patient Education as Topic*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Treatment Outcome

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT00319423