Can the provision of information to patients with osteoarthritis improve functional status? A randomized, controlled trial

Arthritis Rheum. 1989 Dec;32(12):1577-83. doi: 10.1002/anr.1780321212.


After we assessed the functional status of 439 patients with osteoarthritis, we randomly assigned them to 1 of 3 intervention groups or to a control group. The interventions consisted of providing information, and differed only in the method of delivery: by phone, in person at the clinic, or both. Physical health improved (P = 0.02), pain was reduced (P = 0.02), and psychological health improved marginally (P = 0.10) in patients contacted by phone compared with those not contacted by phone. In those contacted only at the clinic, physical health worsened (P = 0.02), but neither pain (P = 0.80) nor psychological health (P = 0.90) differed from the values in patients not contacted at the clinic. We conclude that telephone contact is a useful intervention that can enhance the functional status of patients with osteoarthritis.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Consumer Behavior
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteoarthritis / physiopathology*
  • Osteoarthritis / psychology
  • Outpatient Clinics, Hospital
  • Pain
  • Patient Education as Topic* / methods
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Statistics as Topic
  • Telephone