We investigated the role of an evidence-based integrated group rehabilitation program on the treatment of patients with knee osteoarthritis (KOA). This was a two-group, randomized controlled, 8 wk trial with 41 patients with moderate to very severe KOA. Patients were assigned to an intervention group (IG) or control group (CG). After both groups had received a self-management education program, IG participants underwent a rehabilitation program, including educational aspects about KOA followed by exercises. CG participants received only general health orientation about KOA during this period. The outcome measures were the Lequesne algofunctional index; 36-Item Short Form Health Survey (SF-36); and chair-stand, sit-and-reach, timed up-and-go, and 6-minute walk tests. Analysis of covariance revealed significant postintervention improvements of IG participants compared with CG participants (p < 0.05) on Lequesne total score and pain and function subdomains; SF-36 physical function, role physical, bodily pain, general health, vitality, and role emotional subdomains; and performance assessed by chair-stand, timed up-and-go, and 6-minute walk tests. Focusing on the primary outcome (Lequesne total score), the mean +/- standard deviation after 8 wk was 5.50 +/- 2.98 for the IG and 7.87 +/- 3.48 for the CG (p = 0.009). The corresponding effect size (partial eta squared with 90% confidence interval) was 0.23 (0.04-0.42), indicating a large effect. The presented rehabilitation program reduced pain and improved quality of life and function in patients with KOA.
Clinical trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov; Progressive Collective-exercise Program on the Knee Osteoarthritis; NCT01850862; https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01850862?term=NCT01850862&rank=1.
Keywords: Lequesne; exercise therapy; group; knee; osteoarthritis; physical activity; randomized controlled trial; rehabilitation; self-management; stretching.