The objective was to develop evidence -based recommendations and a research and educational agenda for the non-pharmacological management of hip and knee osteoarthritis (OA). The multidisciplinary task force comprised 21 experts: nurses, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, rheumatologists, orthopaedic surgeons, general practitioner, psychologist, dietician, clinical epidemiologist and patient representatives. After a preliminary literature review, a first task force meeting and five Delphi rounds, provisional recommendations were formulated in order to perform a systematic review. A literature search of Medline and eight other databases was performed up to February 2012. Evidence was graded in categories I-IV and agreement with the recommendations was determined through scores from 0 (total disagreement) to 10 (total agreement). Eleven evidence-based recommendations for the non-pharmacological core management of hip and knee OA were developed, concerning the following nine topics: assessment, general approach, patient information and education, lifestyle changes, exercise, weight loss, assistive technology and adaptations, footwear and work. The average level of agreement ranged between 8.0 and 9.1. The proposed research agenda included an overall need for more research into non-pharmacological interventions for hip OA, moderators to optimise individualised treatment, healthy lifestyle with economic evaluation and long-term follow-up, and the prevention and reduction of work disability. Proposed educational activities included the required skills to teach, initiate and establish lifestyle changes. The 11 recommendations provide guidance on the delivery of non-pharmacological interventions to people with hip or knee OA. More research and educational activities are needed, particularly in the area of lifestyle changes.
Keywords: Nursing; Occupational therapy; Osteoarthritis; Physcial therapy; Psychology.