Factors associated with empowerment after participating in a supported osteoarthritis self-management program: An explorative study

Osteoarthr Cartil Open. 2024 Mar 26;6(2):100464. doi: 10.1016/j.ocarto.2024.100464. eCollection 2024 Jun.


Objective: To explore factors associated with change in empowerment in patients that have participated in a 3-month Supported Osteoarthritis Self-Management Program (SOASP). Further, to evaluate empowerment in the longer term.

Design: An explorative analysis including patients from a cohort study conducted in primary healthcare in Sweden was performed. Univariable linear regression models were performed to assess associations between demographics and patient-reported outcome measures (explanatory factors), respectively, and change in empowerment from baseline to 3-month follow-up (outcome variable). Long-term follow-up of empowerment was at 9 months.

Results: Self-reported increase in enablement at the 3-month follow-up was associated with a greater improvement in empowerment (B ​= ​0.041, 95% CI (0.011, 0.07), p ​= ​0.008). Living alone was associated with less improvement in empowerment (B ​= ​-0.278, 95% CI (-0.469, -0.086), p ​= ​0.005) compared to living together. Physical exercise >120 ​min per week at baseline was associated with less improvement in empowerment (B ​= ​-0.293, 95% CI (-0.583, -0.004), p ​= ​0.047) compared to reporting no exercise at baseline. No other associations were observed (p ​> ​0.05). Empowerment improved from baseline to the 3-month follow-up (mean 0.20 (SD 0.5), p ​< ​0.001) but there was no change from baseline to the 9-month follow-up (mean 0.02 (SD 0.6), p ​= ​0.641).

Conclusions: Self-reported increased enablement may lead to greater improvement in empowerment after SOASP. Greater efforts may be needed to support those that live alone, are physically active, and to sustain empowerment in the longer term after SOASP. More research is needed on empowerment to provide personalized support for patients with OA after SOASP.

Keywords: Empowerment; Exercise therapy; Osteoarthritis; Patient education; Physical therapy.