Exercise and physical activity in older adults with knee pain: a mixed methods study

Rheumatology (Oxford). 2015 Mar;54(3):413-23. doi: 10.1093/rheumatology/keu333. Epub 2014 Sep 3.


Objectives: To describe and explore current exercise and physical activity behaviour in older adults with knee pain in the UK.

Methods: A survey was mailed to 2234 adults ≥50 years of age registered with one general practice within the UK to determine the presence and severity of knee pain and levels of physical activity. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 22 questionnaire responders with knee pain.

Results: The questionnaire response rate was 59% (n = 1276) and 611 respondents reported knee pain. Only ∼40% of individuals with knee pain were sufficiently active to meet physical activity recommendations. Interviews revealed individual differences in the type and setting of physical activity completed and some self-monitored their symptoms in response to physical activity in order to guide future behaviour.

Conclusion: Innovative interventions that can be adapted to suit individual needs and preferences are required to help older adults with knee pain become more physically active.

Keywords: exercise; knee pain; mixed methods; older adults; physical activity; qualitative; quantitative.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Arthralgia / epidemiology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Knee Joint*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Activity / physiology*
  • Prevalence
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology