Better Management of Patients with Osteoarthritis: Development and Nationwide Implementation of an Evidence-Based Supported Osteoarthritis Self-Management Programme

Musculoskeletal Care. 2015 Jun;13(2):67-75. doi: 10.1002/msc.1085. Epub 2014 Oct 24.


Background: Information and exercise are core treatments of osteoarthritis. Self-management and coping strategies with the disease are crucial to gain benefits. We developed a supported osteoarthritis self-management programme, delivered by trained physiotherapists, to facilitate patient and healthcare compliance. The programme combined peer- and healthcare professional-delivered information, and individually adapted exercise.

Methods: Physiotherapists were trained to deliver and evaluate the programme. Patient-reported compliance and satisfaction with the programme was assessed at three- and 12-month follow-ups.

Results: Data from 20,200 consecutive patients in 320 different care centres in Sweden showed that 97% attended the theory sessions and 83% volunteered for the optional individual exercise programme. The intervention was rated as good or very good by 94% of patients. After three months, 62% reported daily use of what they had learned during the course, and 91% reported weekly use. Corresponding numbers after 12 months were 37% and 72%.

Conclusions: The supported osteoarthritis self-management programme is feasible in clinical practice, and seems useful and acceptable to patients.

Keywords: Osteoarthritis; exercise; implementation; patient education.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Exercise
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motivation
  • Osteoarthritis, Hip / psychology
  • Osteoarthritis, Hip / therapy*
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee / psychology
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee / therapy*
  • Patient Compliance
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Physical Therapy Modalities*
  • Self Care*
  • Sweden
  • Treatment Outcome