A walking education program for patients with osteoarthritis of the knee: theory and intervention strategies

Health Educ Q. Spring 1993;20(1):63-81. doi: 10.1177/109019819302000107.


Walking is an ideal physical activity for patients with osteoarthritis because it can help to improve functional status without exacerbating pain or necessitating an increase in the use of medication. Although patient education programs designed to encourage walking have become increasingly important in the management of this condition, there is no single synthesis or other published source of theory and intervention strategies to guide the practitioner in the development of such programs. This paper describes a hospital-based patient education program designed to enhance the functional capacity of who have osteoarthritis of the knee by encouraging the adoption and maintenance of walking. The paper describes the goals, objectives, process, and impact of the program; the principal theoretical model utilized in the design of the program; and how concepts and intervention strategies from the literatures on patient compliance and patient education, exercise compliance, behavioral psychology, and relapse prevention have been operationalized and integrated in a walking program that we have evaluated for safety and efficacy.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Humans
  • Knee / physiopathology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteoarthritis / therapy*
  • Patient Compliance
  • Patient Education as Topic*
  • Program Development*
  • Self Concept
  • Walking / education*