Weight satisfaction, management strategies and health beliefs in knee osteoarthritis patients attending an outpatient clinic

Intern Med J. 2016 Apr;46(4):435-42. doi: 10.1111/imj.13007.


Background: Although weight control is important in managing knee osteoarthritis (OA), it is difficult to achieve. Understanding beliefs regarding weight management in people with knee OA may improve weight control.

Aims: To examine differences in bodyweight satisfaction, weight management strategies and weight-related health-beliefs in obese, overweight and normal weight people with knee OA.

Methods: The beliefs and attitudes to weight in 102 people with symptomatic knee OA were ascertained. Participants were classified as being obese, overweight or of normal weight.

Results: Although obese and overweight participants were less satisfied with their bodyweight, they were more likely to want to lose weight and to report dieting compared with normal weight participants(P < 0.001 for all) and also more likely to report weight gain in the past 6 months (P < 0.001). While most participants rated food intake to be a main determinant of health, this belief was more common in normal weight participants (P = 0.04). When asked about their own weight gain, obese participants more frequently believed genetic and metabolic factors to be important than normal and overweight participants (P = 0.01). While 51 (53%) believed that increasing activity was more important than dietary change to avoid weight gain, this was more commonly believed by obese and overweight participants (P < 0.05).

Conclusions: Despite desiring and attempting to lose weight, obese people with symptomatic knee OA more commonly reported weight gain. Overweight and obese participants attributed weight gain to non-modifiable factors but believed physical activity is more important than dietary change in weight management. Thus, education regarding the importance of diet as compared with non-modifiable factors and physical activity may improve weight management in obese people with knee OA.

Keywords: beliefs; knee; obesity; osteoarthritis; weight loss.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Body Weight* / physiology
  • Disease Management*
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee / epidemiology
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee / psychology*
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee / therapy
  • Outpatient Clinics, Hospital*
  • Overweight / epidemiology
  • Overweight / psychology*
  • Overweight / therapy
  • Personal Satisfaction
  • Weight Loss / physiology