Exercise therapy in patients with hip and/or knee osteoarthritis is effective in reducing pain, increasing physical activity and physical functioning, but costly and a burden for the health care budget. A web-based intervention is cheap in comparison to face-to-face exercise therapy and has the advantage of supporting in home exercises because of the 24/7 accessibility. However, the lack of face-to-face contact with a professional is a disadvantage of web-based interventions and is probably one of the reasons for low adherence rates. In order to combine the best of two worlds, we have developed the intervention e-Exercise. In this blended intervention face-to-face contacts with a physical therapist are partially replaced by a web-based exercise intervention. The aim of this study is to investigate the short- (3 months) and long-term (12 months) (cost)-effectiveness of e-Exercise compared to usual care physical therapy. Our hypothesis is that e-Exercise is more effective and cost-effective in increasing physical functioning and physical activity compared to usual care.
This paper presents the protocol of a prospective, single-blinded, multicenter cluster randomized controlled trial. In total, 200 patients with OA of the hip and/or knee will be randomly allocated into either e-Exercise or usual care (physical therapy). E-Exercise is a 12-week intervention, consisting of maximum five face-to-face physical therapy contacts supplemented with a web-based program. The web-based program contains assignments to gradually increase patients’ physical activity, strength and stability exercises and information about OA related topics. Primary outcomes are physical activity and physical functioning. Secondary outcomes are health related quality of life, self-perceived effect, pain, tiredness and self-efficacy. All measurements will be performed at baseline, 3 and 12 months after inclusion. Retrospective cost questionnaires will be sent at 3, 6, 9 and 12 months and used for the cost-effectiveness and cost-utility analysis.
This study is the first randomized controlled trial in the (cost)-effectiveness of a blended exercise intervention for patients with osteoarthritis of the hip and/or knee. The findings will help to improve the treatment of patients with osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis; Physical activity; Blended care; e-Health
Studies on hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA-axis) function amongst patients with chronic pain show equivocal results and well-controlled cohort studies are rare in this field. The goal of our study was to examine whether HPA-axis dysfunction is associated with the presence and the severity of chronic multi-site musculoskeletal pain.
Data are from the Netherlands Study of Depression and Anxiety including 1125 subjects with and without lifetime depressive and anxiety disorders. The Chronic Pain Grade questionnaire was used to determine the presence and severity of chronic multi-site musculoskeletal pain. Subjects were categorized into a chronic multi-site musculoskeletal pain group (n = 471) and a control group (n = 654). Salivary cortisol samples were collected to assess HPA-axis function (awakening level, 1-h awakening response, evening level, diurnal slope and post-dexamethasone level).
In comparison with the control group, subjects with chronic multi-site musculoskeletal pain showed significantly lower cortisol level at awakening, lower evening level and a blunted diurnal slope. Lower cortisol level at awakening and a blunted diurnal slope appeared to be restricted to those without depressive and/or anxiety disorders, who also showed a lower 1-h awakening response.
Our results suggest hypocortisolemia in chronic multi-site musculoskeletal pain. However, if chronic pain is accompanied by a depressive or anxiety disorder, typically related to hypercortisolemia, the association between cortisol levels and chronic multi-site musculoskeletal pain appears to be partly masked. Future studies should take psychopathology into account when examining HPA-axis function in chronic pain.
Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis; Salivary cortisol; Chronic pain; Central sensitization; Psychopathology
Body-mass index (BMI) and depressed mood are both positively associated with pain and activity limitations in knee osteoarthritis (OA), and are interrelated. The aims of the present study were: 1) to assess whether BMI and depressed mood are independently associated with knee pain and activity limitations; and 2) to compare the relative contributions of BMI and depressed mood to knee pain and activity limitations.
A cross-sectional study in 294 patients with clinical knee OA. Regression analyses were performed with knee pain or activity limitations (self-reported and performance-based) as dependent variables, and BMI and depressed mood as independent variables. All analyses were adjusted for age, gender, marital status, education level, radiographic OA and comorbidity. Dominance analyses were performed to examine the relative contributions of BMI and depressed mood to knee pain and activity limitations.
BMI and depressed mood were positively and independently associated with knee pain and activity limitations. BMI and depressed mood explained small parts (3.0% and 2.3%, respectively) of variance in knee pain. BMI explained a substantial part of variance in both self-reported (9.8%) and performance-based (20.4%) activity limitations, while depressed mood explained a small part of variance (3.1% in self-reported and 2.6% in performance-based activity limitations).
In patients with knee OA both BMI and depressed mood seem to be independently associated with knee pain and activity limitations. The contribution of BMI to activity limitations is most substantial, thereby offering a relevant target for interventions.
Activity limitations; Body-mass index; Depressed mood; Knee; Osteoarthritis; Pain
The aim of the present study was to compare one-year-follow-up data on disability and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) between spinal fusion patients and age- and sex-matched general population.
The data on fusion patients were collected prospectively using a spinal fusion data base in two Finnish hospitals. A general population sample matched for age, sex and residential area was drawn from the Finnish Population Register. All participants completed a questionnaire and the main outcome measures were the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) and the Short Form-36 questionnaire (SF-36).
Altogether 252 (69% females) fusion patients and 682 (67% females) population sample subjects participated in the study. In general population the mean ODI was 15 (SD 17) in females and 9 (SD 13) in males. The corresponding preoperative ODI values were 47 (SD16) and 40 (SD 15) and one year follow-up values 22 (SD 17) and 23 (SD 20). In both sexes the ODI decreased significantly after surgery but remained higher than in the general population, p < 0.001. The physical component summary score (PCS) of the SF-36 was lower in the patients than general population sample both preoperatively and at one-year follow-up (p < 0.001). The mental component summary score (MCS) was lower preoperatively (p < 0.001), but reached the general population level after one year in both men (p = 0.42) and women (p = 0.61).
Disability and HRQoL improved significantly after spinal fusion surgery during a one- year follow-up. However, the patients did not reach the level of the general population in the ODI or in the physical component of HRQoL at that time, although in the mental component the difference disappeared.
Spinal fusion; Oswestry disability index; Health-related quality of life; General population sample
The effectiveness of multidisciplinary treatment in chronic widespread pain (CWP) is limited. The considerable heterogeneity among patients is a likely explanation. Knowledge on predictors of the outcome of multidisciplinary treatment can help to optimize treatment effectiveness. The purpose of this study was to identify predictors of multidisciplinary treatment outcome in patients with CWP.
Data were used from baseline and 6 months follow-up measurements of a prospective cohort study of 120 CWP. Regression models were used to assess whether baseline variables predicted treatment outcome. Outcome domains included: pain, pain interference, depression, and global perceived effect (GPE). Potential predictors included: psychological distress, illness and self-efficacy beliefs, fear-avoidance beliefs and behaviour, symptoms, disability, and socio-demographic factors.
Greater improvement in pain was predicted by more pain at baseline and male gender. Greater improvement in interference of pain in daily life was predicted by more interference of pain in daily life at baseline, lower levels of anxiety, a stronger belief in personal control, less belief in consequences, male gender, and a higher level of education. Greater improvement in depression was predicted by higher baseline values of depression, stronger beliefs in personal control, and a higher level of education. Better outcome on GPE was predicted by less pain, less fatigue, and a higher level of education.
Less anxiety, stronger beliefs in personal control, less belief in consequences, less pain, less fatigue, higher level of education, and male gender are predictors of better outcome of multidisciplinary treatment in CWP. Tailoring treatment to these specific patient characteristics or selecting eligible patients for multidisciplinary treatment may further improve treatment outcome.
Chronic widespread pain; Fibromyalgia; Predictors; Multidisciplinary treatment; Outcome
Symptoms associated with osteoarthritis of the knee result in decreased function, loss of working capacity and extensive social and medical costs. There is a need to investigate and develop effective interventions to minimise the impact of and even prevent the progression of osteoarthritis. Aquatic exercise has been shown to be effective at reducing the impact of osteoarthritis. The purpose of this article is to describe the rationale, design and intervention of a study investigating the effect of an aquatic resistance exercise intervention on cartilage in postmenopausal women with mild knee osteoarthritis.
A minimum of 80 volunteers who meet the inclusion criteria will be recruited from the local population through newspaper advertisements. Following initial assessment volunteers will be randomised into two groups. The intervention group will participate in a progressive aquatic resistance exercise program of 1-hour duration 3 times a week for four months. The control group will be asked to maintain normal care during this period. Primary outcome measure for this study is the biochemical composition of knee cartilage measured using quantitative magnetic resonance imaging; T2 relaxation time and delayed gadolinium-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging techniques. In addition, knee cartilage morphology as regional cartilage thickness will be studied. Secondary outcomes include measures of body composition and bone traits using dual energy x-ray absorptiometry and peripheral quantitative computed tomography, pain, function using questionnaires and physical performance tests and quality of life. Measurements will be performed at baseline, after the 4-month intervention period and at one year follow up.
This randomised controlled trial will investigate the effect a progressive aquatic resistance exercise program has on the biochemical composition of cartilage in post-menopausal women with mild knee osteoarthritis. This is the first study to investigate what impact aquatic exercise has on human articular cartilage. In addition it will investigate the effect aquatic exercise has on physical function, pain, bone and body composition and quality of life. The results of this study will help optimise the prescription of aquatic exercise to persons with mild knee osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis; Quantitative MRI; T2 relaxation time; dGEMRIC; Bone; Aquatic exercise
Lumbar spine fusion (LSF) effectively decreases pain and disability in specific spinal disorders; however, the disability rate following surgery remains high. This, combined with the fact that in Western countries the number of LSF surgeries is increasing rapidly it is important to develop rehabilitation interventions that improve outcomes.
In the present RCT-study we aim to assess the effectiveness of a combined back-specific and aerobic exercise intervention for patients after LSF surgery. One hundred patients will be randomly allocated to a 12-month exercise intervention arm or a usual care arm. The exercise intervention will start three months after surgery and consist of six individual guidance sessions with a physiotherapist and a home-based exercise program. The primary outcome measures are low back pain, lower extremity pain, disability and quality of life. Secondary outcomes are back function and kinesiophobia. Exercise adherence will also be evaluated. The outcome measurements will be assessed at baseline (3 months postoperatively), at the end of the exercise intervention period (15 months postoperatively), and after a 1-year follow-up.
The present RCT will evaluate the effectiveness of a long-term rehabilitation program after LSF. To our knowledge this will be the first study to evaluate a combination of strength training, control of the neutral lumbar spine position and aerobic training principles in rehabilitation after LSF.
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier NCT00834015
Lumbar fusion; Disability; Pain; Quality of life; Spine; Exercise; Rehabilitation
The objective of the study was to determine whether psychological and social factors predict the course of limitations in activities in elderly patients with osteoarthritis of the hip or knee, in addition to established somatic and cognitive risk factors.
A longitudinal cohort study with a follow-up period of three years was conducted. Patients (N = 237) with hip or knee osteoarthritis were recruited from rehabilitation centers and hospitals. Body functions, comorbidity, cognitive functioning, limitations in activities and psychological and social factors (mental health, vitality, pain coping and perceived social support) were assessed. Statistical analyses included univariate and multivariate regression analyses. Psychological and social factors were added to a previously developed model with body functions, comorbidity and cognitive functioning.
In knee OA, low vitality has a negative impact on the course of self-reported and performance-based limitations in activities, after controlling for somatic and cognitive factors. In hip OA, psychological and social factors had no additional contribution to the model.
Low vitality predicts deterioration of limitations in activities in elderly patients with osteoarthritis of the knee, in addition to established somatic and cognitive risk factors. However, the contribution of vitality is relatively small. Results of this study are relevant for the group of patients with knee or hip OA, attending hospitals and rehabilitation centers.
osteoarthritis; prognosis; body functions; comorbidity; cognitive functioning; vitality
Joint pain is a highly prevalent condition in the older population. Only a minority of the older adults consult the general practitioner for joint pain, and during consultation joint pain is often poorly recognized and treated, especially when other co-existing chronic conditions are involved. Therefore, older adults with joint pain and comorbidity may have a higher risk of poor functional outcome and decreased quality of life (QoL), and possibly need more attention in primary care. The main purpose of the study is to explore functioning in older adults with joint pain and comorbidity, in terms of mobility, functional independence and participation and to identify possible predictors of poor functional outcome. The study will also identify predictors of decreased QoL. The results will be used to develop prediction models for the early identification of subgroups at high risk of poor functional outcome and decreased QoL. This may contribute to better targeting of treatment and to more effective health care in this population.
The study has been designed as a prospective cohort study, with measurements at baseline and after 6, 12 and 18 months. For the recruitment of 450 patients, 25 general practices will be approached. Patients are eligible for participation if they are 65 years or older, have at least two chronic conditions and report joint pain on most days. Data will be collected using various methods (i.e. questionnaires, physical tests, patient interviews and focus groups). We will measure different aspects of functioning (e.g. mobility, functional independence and participation) and QoL. Other measurements concern possible predictors of functioning and QoL (e.g. pain, co-existing chronic conditions, markers for frailty, physical performance, psychological factors, environmental factors and individual factors). Furthermore, health care utilization, health care needs and the meaning and impact of joint pain will be investigated from an older person's perspective.
In this paper, we describe the protocol of a prospective cohort study in Dutch older adults with joint pain and comorbidity and discuss the potential strengths and limitations of the study.
Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common joint disease, causing pain and functional impairments. According to international guidelines, exercise therapy has a short-term effect in reducing pain/functional impairments in knee OA and is therefore also generally recommended for hip OA. Because of its high prevalence and clinical implications, OA is associated with considerable (healthcare) costs. However, studies evaluating cost-effectiveness of common exercise therapy in hip OA are lacking. Therefore, this randomised controlled trial is designed to investigate the cost-effectiveness of exercise therapy in conjunction with the general practitioner's (GP) care, compared to GP care alone, for patients with hip OA.
Patients aged ≥ 45 years with OA of the hip, who consulted the GP during the past year for hip complaints and who comply with the American College of Rheumatology criteria, are included. Patients are randomly assigned to either exercise therapy in addition to GP care, or to GP care alone. Exercise therapy consists of (maximally) 12 treatment sessions with a physiotherapist, and home exercises. These are followed by three additional treatment sessions in the 5th, 7th and 9th month after the first treatment session. GP care consists of usual care for hip OA, such as general advice or prescribing pain medication. Primary outcomes are hip pain and hip-related activity limitations (measured with the Hip disability Osteoarthritis Outcome Score [HOOS]), direct costs, and productivity costs (measured with the PROductivity and DISease Questionnaire). These parameters are measured at baseline, at 6 weeks, and at 3, 6, 9 and 12 months follow-up. To detect a 25% clinical difference in the HOOS pain score, with a power of 80% and an alpha 5%, 210 patients are required. Data are analysed according to the intention-to-treat principle. Effectiveness is evaluated using linear regression models with repeated measurements. An incremental cost-effectiveness analysis and an incremental cost-utility analysis will also be performed.
The results of this trial will provide insight into the cost-effectiveness of adding exercise therapy to GPs' care in the treatment of OA of the hip. This trial is registered in the Dutch trial registry http://www.trialregister.nl: trial number NTR1462.
A wide variety of cognitive concepts have been shown to play an important role in chronic widespread pain (CWP). Although these concepts are generally considered to be distinct entities, some might in fact be highly overlapping. The objectives of this study were to (i) to establish inter-relationships between self-efficacy, cognitive coping styles, fear-avoidance cognitions and illness beliefs in patients with CWP and (ii) to explore the possibility of a reduction of these cognitions into a more limited number of domains.
Baseline measurement data of a prospective cohort study of 138 patients with CWP were used. Factor analysis was used to study the associations between 16 different cognitive concepts.
Factor analysis resulted in three factors: 1) negative emotional cognitions, 2) active cognitive coping, and 3) control beliefs and expectations of chronicity.
Negative emotional cognitions, active cognitive coping, control beliefs and expectations of chronicity seem to constitute principal domains of cognitive processes in CWP. These findings contribute to the understanding of overlap and uniqueness of cognitive concepts in chronic widespread pain.
Patients with osteoarthritis of the knee may change their gait in an attempt to reduce loading of the affected knee, thereby reducing pain. Especially changes in lateral trunk motion may be potentially effective, since these will affect the position of the centre of mass relative to the knee, enabling minimization of the load on the knee and thereby knee pain. The aim of the study was to test the hypothesis that a higher level of knee pain is associated with higher lateral trunk motion in patients with knee OA.
Fifty-two patients with OA of the knee were tested. Lateral trunk motion was measured during the stance phase of walking with an optoelectronic motion analysis system and a force plate. Knee pain was measured with the VAS and the WOMAC pain questionnaire. Regression analyses were performed to assess the relationship between lateral trunk motion and knee pain.
It was shown that in bivariate analyses knee pain was not associated with lateral trunk motion. In regression analyses, pain was associated with more lateral trunk motion. In addition, more lateral trunk motion was associated with younger age, being female, higher self-reported knee stiffness and higher maximum walking speed.
Pain is associated with lateral trunk motion. This association is weak and is influenced by age, gender, self-reported stiffness and maximum walking speed.
Osteoarthritis; Knee; Trunk Motion; Knee Pain
Patients with Chronic Tension Type Headache (CTTH) report functional and emotional impairments (loss of workdays, sleep disturbances, emotional well-being) and are at risk for overuse of medication. Manual therapy may improve symptoms through mobilisation of the spine, correction of posture, and training of cervical muscles.
We present the design of a randomised clinical trial (RCT) evaluating the effectiveness of manual therapy (MT) compared to usual care by the general practitioner (GP) in patients with CTTH.
Methods and design
Patients are eligible for participation if they present in general practice with CTTH according to the classification of the International Headache Society (IHS).
Participants are randomised to either usual GP care according to the national Dutch general practice guidelines for headache, or manual therapy, consisting of mobilisations (high- and low velocity techniques), exercise therapy for the cervical and thoracic spine and postural correction. The primary outcome measures are the number of headache days and use of medication. Secondary outcome measures are severity of headache, functional status, sickness absence, use of other healthcare resources, active cervical range of motion, algometry, endurance of the neckflexor muscles and head posture. Follow-up assessments are conducted after 8 and 26 weeks.
This is a pragmatic trial in which interventions are offered as they are carried out in everyday practice. This increases generalisability of results, but blinding of patients, GPs and therapists is not possible.
The results of this trial will contribute to clinical decision making of the GP regarding referral to manual therapy in patients with chronic tension headache.
This study aims to contribute to the knowledge of the influence of comorbidity in OA. The objectives of the study were (i) to describe the prevalence of comorbidity and (ii) to describe the relationship between comorbidity (morbidity count, severity and the presence of specific diseases) and limitations in activities and pain in elderly patients with knee or hip OA using a comprehensive inventory of comorbidity.
A cross-sectional cohort study was conducted, in which 288 elderly patients with hip or knee osteoarthritis were included. Apart from demographic and clinical data, information about comorbidity, limitations in activities (WOMAC, SF-36 and timed walking test) and pain (VAS) was collected by questionnaires and tests. Statistical analyses included descriptive statistics, multivariate regression techniques, t-tests and one-way ANOVA.
Almost all patients suffered from at least one comorbid disease, with cardiac diseases, diseases of eye, ear, nose, throat and larynx, other urogenital diseases and endocrine/metabolic diseases being most prevalent. Morbidity count and severity index were associated with more limitations in activities and with more pain. The presence of most of the moderate or severe diseases and obesity was associated with limitations in activities or with pain.
The results of this study emphasize the importance of comorbidity in the rehabilitation of elderly patients with osteoarthritis of the hip or knee. Clinical practitioners should be aware of the relationship of comorbidity with functional problems in OA patients.
Clinical guidelines are considered important instruments to improve quality in health care. In physiotherapy, insight in adherence to guidelines is limited. Knowledge of adherence is important to identify barriers and to enhance implementation. Purpose of this study is to investigate the ability to adherence to recommendations of the guideline Acute ankle injury, and to identify patient characteristics that determine adherence to the guideline.
Twenty-two physiotherapists collected data of 174 patients in a prospective cohort study, in which the course of treatment was systematically registered. Indicators were used to investigate adherence to recommendations. Patient characteristics were used to identify prognostic factors that may determine adherence to the guideline. Correlation between patient characteristics and adherence to outcome-indicators (treatment sessions, functioning of patient, accomplished goals) was calculated using univariate logistic regression. To calculate explained variance of combined patient characteristics, multivariate analysis was performed.
Adherence to individual recommendations varied from 71% to 100%. In 99 patients (57%) the physiotherapists showed adherence to all indicators. Adherence to preset maximum of six treatment sessions for patients with severe ankle injury was 81% (132 patients).
The odds to receive more than six sessions were statistically significant for three patient characteristics: females (OR:3.89; 95%CI: 1.41–10.72), recurrent sprain (OR: 6.90; 95%CI: 2.34 – 20.37), co-morbidity (OR: 25.92; 95% CI: 6.79 – 98.93). All factors together explained 40% of the variance. Inclusion of physiotherapist characteristics in the regression model showed that work-experience reduced the odds to receive more than six sessions (OR: 0.2; 95%CI: 0.06 – 0.77), and increased explained variance to 45%.
Adherence to the clinical guideline Acute ankle sprain showed that the guideline is applicable in daily practice. Adherence to the guideline, even in a group of physiotherapists familiar with the guideline, showed possibilities for improvement. The necessity to exceed the expected number of treatment sessions may be explained by co-morbidity and recurrent sprains. It is not clear why female patients were treated with more sessions. Experience of the physiotherapist reduced the number of treatment sessions. Quality indicators may be used for audit and feedback as part of the implementation strategy.
Musculoskeletal complaints are frequent and have large consequences for public health. Information about the prognosis after presentation in general practice is far from complete. Knowledge about determinants of the clinical course of musculoskeletal complaints is essential for management decisions and to inform patients about their prognosis. The purpose of this study is to provide information about the prognosis of musculoskeletal complaints other than low back pain by studying the course of these complaints in general practice and to identify determinants of this course.
Patients of 18 years and older, who present in general practice with a new episode of a musculoskeletal complaint of the neck, shoulder, elbow, wrist, hand, arm, hip, knee, ankle or foot, are recruited by their general practitioner (GP). Participants will receive complaint-specific questionnaires by mail at baseline and after 3, 6, 12 and 18 months. The following putative determinants of the course of the complaints will be investigated: sociodemographic characteristics, characteristics of the complaint, psychosocial job characteristics, physical workload, physical activity during leisure time, pain coping, mood, kinesiophobia, social support, optimism. The primary outcomes are perceived recovery, pain, functional status, sick leave and overall quality of life.