Weight Loss and Exercise Underutilized by Osteoarthritis Patients

A/Prof Rana Hinman PhD Australian Research Council Future Fellow Centre for Health Exercise & Sports Medicine Department of Physiotherapy School of Health Sciences The University of Melbourne,  Carlton, Victoria, AustraliaMedicalResearch.com Interview with:
A/Prof Rana Hinman PhD
Australian Research Council Future Fellow
Centre for Health Exercise & Sports Medicine
Department of Physiotherapy School of Health Sciences
The University of Melbourne,  Carlton, Victoria, Australia

Medical Research: What is the background for this study?

Response: It has been well established that hip and knee osteoarthritis (OA) is a major causes of musculoskeletal disease burden worldwide. There is currently no cure and joint replacement is typically reserved for advanced disease. Non-operative management strategies are the mainstay of osteoarthritis treatment. Clinical guidelines recommend the use of aerobic and/or resistance exercises, hydrotherapy and weight loss for those who are overweight for people with hip or knee osteoarthritis. Little is known about how often these treatments are used, and whether treatment use differs for those with hip osteoarthritis compared to those with knee osteoarthritis.

Medical Research: What are the main findings?

Response: The use of non-drug non-operative interventions was generally low amongst the entire cohort of people with hip or knee osteoarthritis. Although half reported making efforts to lose weight, very few were undertaking muscle strengthening, hydrotherapy or aerobic exercises, all of which are strategies most strongly endorsed by international guidelines. 12% of the cohort had never used any of the interventions listed in our survey.

Interestingly, use of five treatments was significantly higher among people with knee osteoarthritis than those with hip osteoarthritis, suggesting people with knee osteoarthritis may be more likely to try non-drug non-operative treatments than those with hip osteoarthritis, however there is no clear explanation for this.

Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Response: Weight loss and exercise should be the first course of action by healthcare professionals in managing people with hip and knee OA. However our research shows these treatments are under-utilized by patients. Clinicians need to emphasise the benefits of these non-drug treatments for OA, and help their patients adhere to long-term management plans that incorporate exercise and weight loss for those who are overweight.

Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: It is not clear from our results the reasons why people are not using non-drug non-surgical treatments, or why people with hip osteoarthritis are less likely to utilize these treatments than people with knee osteoarthritis. Future research should be directed towards identifying and overcoming barriers to uptake and sustained use of these interventions.

Citation:

Use of Nondrug, Nonoperative Interventions by Community-Dwelling People With Hip and Knee Osteoarthritis

  1. S. Hinman, P. J. A. Nicolson, F. L. Dobson andK. L. Bennell

Article first published online: 27 JAN 2015 DOI: 10.1002/acr.22395

 

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