PMCC PMCC

Search tips
Search criteria

Advanced
Results 1-12 (12)
 

Clipboard (0)
None
Journals
Year of Publication
Document Types
1.  Self management, joint protection and exercises in hand osteoarthritis: a randomised controlled trial with cost effectiveness analyses 
Background
There is limited evidence for the clinical and cost effectiveness of occupational therapy (OT) approaches in the management of hand osteoarthritis (OA). Joint protection and hand exercises have been proposed by European guidelines, however the clinical and cost effectiveness of each intervention is unknown.
This multicentre two-by-two factorial randomised controlled trial aims to address the following questions:
• Is joint protection delivered by an OT more effective in reducing hand pain and disability than no joint protection in people with hand OA in primary care?
• Are hand exercises delivered by an OT more effective in reducing hand pain and disability than no hand exercises in people with hand OA in primary care?
• Which of the four management approaches explored within the study (leaflet and advice, joint protection, hand exercise, or joint protection and hand exercise combined) provides the most cost-effective use of health care resources
Methods/Design
Participants aged 50 years and over registered at three general practices in North Staffordshire and Cheshire will be mailed a health survey questionnaire (estimated mailing sample n = 9,500). Those fulfilling the eligibility criteria on the health survey questionnaire will be invited to attend a clinical assessment to assess for the presence of hand or thumb base OA using the ACR criteria. Eligible participants will be randomised to one of four groups: leaflet and advice; joint protection (looking after your joints); hand exercises; or joint protection and hand exercises combined (estimated n = 252). The primary outcome measure will be the OARSI/OMERACT responder criteria combining hand pain and disability (measured using the AUSCAN) and global improvement, 6 months post-randomisation. Secondary outcomes will also be collected for example pain, functional limitation and quality of life. Outcomes will be collected at baseline and 3, 6 and 12 months post-randomisation. The main analysis will be on an intention to treat basis and will assess the clinical and cost effectiveness of joint protection and hand exercises for managing hand OA.
Discussion
The findings will improve the cost-effective evidence based management of hand OA.
Trial registration
identifier: ISRCTN33870549
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-12-156
PMCID: PMC3146911  PMID: 21745357
2.  Hand assessment in older adults with musculoskeletal hand problems: a reliability study 
Background
Musculoskeletal hand pain is common in the general population. This study aims to investigate the inter- and intra-observer reliability of two trained observers conducting a simple clinical interview and physical examination for hand problems in older adults. The reliability of applying the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) criteria for hand osteoarthritis to community-dwelling older adults will also be investigated.
Methods
Fifty-five participants aged 50 years and over with a current self-reported hand problem and registered with one general practice were recruited from a previous health questionnaire study. Participants underwent a standardised, structured clinical interview and physical examination by two independent trained observers and again by one of these observers a month later. Agreement beyond chance was summarised using Kappa statistics and intra-class correlation coefficients.
Results
Median values for inter- and intra-observer reliability for clinical interview questions were found to be "substantial" and "moderate" respectively [median agreement beyond chance (Kappa) was 0.75 (range: -0.03, 0.93) for inter-observer ratings and 0.57 (range: -0.02, 1.00) for intra-observer ratings]. Inter- and intra-observer reliability for physical examination items was variable, with good reliability observed for some items, such as grip and pinch strength, and poor reliability observed for others, notably assessment of altered sensation, pain on resisted movement and judgements based on observation and palpation of individual features at single joints, such as bony enlargement, nodes and swelling. Moderate agreement was observed both between and within observers when applying the ACR criteria for hand osteoarthritis.
Conclusion
Standardised, structured clinical interview is reliable for taking a history in community-dwelling older adults with self reported hand problems. Agreement between and within observers for physical examination items is variable. Low Kappa values may have resulted, in part, from a low prevalence of clinical signs and symptoms in the study participants. The decision to use clinical interview and hand assessment variables in clinical practice or further research in primary care should include consideration of clinical applicability and training alongside reliability. Further investigation is required to determine the relationship between these clinical questions and assessments and the clinical course of hand pain and hand problems in community-dwelling older adults.
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-12-3
PMCID: PMC3024272  PMID: 21214921
3.  Impairment-targeted exercises for older adults with knee pain: protocol for a proof-of-principle study 
Background
Exercise therapy for knee pain and osteoarthritis remains a key element of conservative treatment, recommended in clinical guidelines. Yet systematic reviews point to only modest benefits from exercise interventions.
One reason for this might be that clinical trials tend to use a one-size-fits-all approach to exercise, effectively disregarding the details of their participants' clinical presentations. This uncontrolled before-after study (TargET-Knee-Pain) aims to test the principle that exercises targeted at the specific physical impairments of older adults with knee pain may be able to significantly improve those impairments. It is a first step towards testing the effectiveness of this more individually-tailored approach.
Methods/Design
We aim to recruit 60 participants from an existing observational cohort of community-dwelling older adults with knee pain. Participants will all have at least one of the three physical impairments of weak quadriceps, a reduced range of knee flexion and poor standing balance. Each participant will be asked to undertake a programme of exercises, targeted at their particular combination and degree of impairment(s), over the course of twelve weeks. The exercises will be taught and progressed by an experienced physiotherapist, with reference to a "menu" of agreed exercises for each of the impairments, over the course of six fortnightly home visits, alternating with six fortnightly telephone calls. Primary outcome measures will be isometric quadriceps strength, knee flexion range of motion, timed single-leg standing balance and the "Four Balance Test Scale" at 12 weeks. Key secondary outcome measures will be self-reported levels of pain, stiffness and difficulties with day-to-day functional tasks (WOMAC). Outcome measures will be taken at three time-points (baseline, six weeks and twelve weeks) by a study nurse blinded to the exercise status of the participants.
Discussion
This study (TargET-Knee-Pain) is the first step towards exploring whether an impairment-targeted approach to exercise prescription for older adults with knee pain may have sufficient efficacy to warrant further testing. If warranted, future randomised clinical trials may compare this approach with more traditional one-size-fits-all exercise approaches.
Trial registration
Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN61638364.
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-12-2
PMCID: PMC3025930  PMID: 21214901
4.  What are the important components of the clinical assessment of hand problems in older adults in primary care? Results of a Delphi study 
Background
To identify clinical questions and assessments regarded by health care practitioners as important when assessing undifferentiated hand pain or problems in adults aged 50 years and over presenting to primary care.
Methods
A purposively selected panel of 26 UK-based Health Care Practitioners comprising occupational therapists, physiotherapists, rheumatologists and general practitioners, were invited to take part in a consensus study involving three postal rounds of a Delphi questionnaire with accompanying case scenarios. Participants were asked to generate questions and assessments (round 1), rate their importance (round 2), and vote on which items were most important (round 3).
Results
Sixteen Health Care Practitioners agreed to participate with 11 completing all three rounds. The first round of the Delphi study generated 156 questions and 143 assessments. After three rounds agreement was reached on the importance of 25 questions and 19 assessments. Questions were weighted towards current symptoms, but also included the history of previous hand problems, self-reported hand function, co-morbidity and general health. Observation and palpation of features predominated in the choice of assessment, but specific tests, grip strength, evaluation of sensation and hand function were also included.
Conclusions
A pool of clinical questions and assessments were generated by Health Care Practitioners, and those considered most important for assessing older adults presenting with undifferentiated hand pain and hand problems in primary care were identified. Further evaluation is required to establish the reliability and feasibility of using these questions and assessments in primary care. In particular, the relative contribution of these questions and assessments in evaluating the nature and severity of hand problems, assisting diagnosis, indicating appropriate management, and predicting future course requires further investigation.
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-11-178
PMCID: PMC2924274  PMID: 20696042
5.  Gender difference in symptomatic radiographic knee osteoarthritis in the Knee Clinical Assessment – CAS(K): A prospective study in the general population 
Background
A recent study of adults aged ≥50 years reporting knee pain found an excess of radiographic knee osteoarthritis (knee ROA) in symptomatic males compared to females. This was independent of age, BMI and other clinical signs and symptoms. Since this finding contradicts many previous studies, our objective was to explore four possible explanations for this gender difference: X-ray views, selection, occupation and non-articular conditions.
Methods
A community-based prospective study. 819 adults aged ≥50 years reporting knee pain in the previous 12 months were recruited by postal questionnaires to a research clinic involving plain radiography (weight-bearing posteroanterior semiflexed, supine skyline and lateral views), clinical interview and physical examination. Any knee ROA, ROA severity, tibiofemoral joint osteoarthritis (TJOA) and patellofemoral joint osteoarthritis (PJOA) were defined using all three radiographic views. Occupational class was derived from current or last job title. Proportions of each gender with symptomatic knee ROA were expressed as percentages, stratified by age; differences between genders were expressed as percentage differences with 95% confidence intervals.
Results
745 symptomatic participants were eligible and had complete X-ray data. Males had a higher occurrence (77%) of any knee ROA than females (61%). In 50–64 year olds, the excess in men was mild knee OA (particularly PJOA); in ≥65 year olds, the excess was both mild and moderate/severe knee OA (particularly combined TJOA/PJOA). This male excess persisted when using the posteroanterior view only (64% vs. 52%). The lowest level of participation in the clinic was symptomatic females aged 65+. Within each occupational class there were more males with symptomatic knee ROA than females. In those aged 50–64 years, non-articular conditions were equally common in both genders although, in those aged 65+, they occurred more frequently in symptomatic females (41%) than males (31%).
Conclusion
The excess of knee ROA among symptomatic males in this study seems unlikely to be attributable to the use of comprehensive X-ray views. Although prior occupational exposures and the presence of non-articular conditions cannot be fully excluded, selective non-participation bias seems the most likely explanation. This has implications for future study design.
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-9-82
PMCID: PMC2443794  PMID: 18547403
6.  The Clinical Assessment Study of the Hand (CAS-HA): a prospective study of musculoskeletal hand problems in the general population 
Background
Pain in the hand affects an estimated 12–21% of the population, and at older ages the hand is one of the most common sites of pain and osteoarthritis. The association between symptomatic hand osteoarthritis and disability in everyday life has not been studied in detail, although there is evidence that older people with hand problems suffer significant pain and disability. Despite the high prevalence of hand problems and the limitations they cause in older adults, little attention has been paid to the hand by health planners and policy makers. We plan to conduct a prospective, population-based, observational cohort study designed in parallel with our previously reported cohort study of knee pain, to describe the course of musculoskeletal hand problems in older adults and investigate the relative merits of different approaches to classification and defining prognosis.
Methods/Design
All adults aged 50 years and over registered with two general practices in North Staffordshire will be invited to take part in a two-stage postal survey. Respondents to the survey who indicate that they have experienced hand pain or problems within the previous 12 months will be invited to attend a research clinic for a detailed assessment. This will consist of clinical interview, hand assessment, screening test of lower limb function, digital photography, plain x-rays, anthropometric measurement and brief self-complete questionnaire. All consenting clinic attenders will be followed up by (i) general practice medical record review, (ii) repeat postal questionnaire at 18-months, and (iii) repeat postal questionnaire at 3 years.
Discussion
This paper describes the protocol for the Clinical Assessment Study of the Hand (CAS-HA), a prospective, population-based, observational cohort study of community-dwelling older adults with hand pain and hand problems based in North Staffordshire.
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-8-85
PMCID: PMC2000877  PMID: 17760988
7.  The assessment of the prognosis of musculoskeletal conditions in older adults presenting to general practice: a research protocol 
Background
Musculoskeletal conditions represent a common reason for consulting general practice yet with the exception of low back pain, relatively little is known about the prognosis of these disorders. Recent evidence suggests that common 'generic' factors may be of value when assessing prognosis, irrespective of the location of the pain. This study will test a generic assessment tool used as part of the general practice consultation to determine prognosis of musculoskeletal complaints.
Methods/Design
Older adults (aged 50 years and over) presenting to six general practices with musculoskeletal complaints will be assessed as part of the routine consultation using a generic assessment of prognosis. Participants will receive a self-completion questionnaire at baseline, three, six and 12 months post consultation to gather further data on pain, disability and psychological status. The primary outcome measure is participant's global rating of change.
Discussion
Prognosis is considered to be a fundamental component of scientific medicine yet prognostic research in primary care settings is currently neglected and prognostic enquiry is disappearing from general medical textbooks. This study aims to address this issue by examining the use of generic prognostic factors in a general practice setting.
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-7-84
PMCID: PMC1647277  PMID: 17096846
8.  The Knee Clinical Assessment Study – CAS(K). A prospective study of knee pain and knee osteoarthritis in the general population: baseline recruitment and retention at 18 months 
Background
Selective non-participation at baseline (due to non-response and non-consent) and loss to follow-up are important concerns for longitudinal observational research. We investigated these matters in the context of baseline recruitment and retention at 18 months of participants for a prospective observational cohort study of knee pain and knee osteoarthritis in the general population.
Methods
Participants were recruited to the Knee Clinical Assessment Study – CAS(K) – by a multi-stage process involving response to two postal questionnaires, consent to further contact and medical record review (optional), and attendance at a research clinic. Follow-up at 18-months was by postal questionnaire. The characteristics of responders/consenters were described for each stage in the recruitment process to identify patterns of selective non-participation and loss to follow-up. The external validity of findings from the clinic attenders was tested by comparing the distribution of WOMAC scores and the association between physical function and obesity with the same parameters measured directly in the target population as whole.
Results
3106 adults aged 50 years and over reporting knee pain in the previous 12 months were identified from the first baseline questionnaire. Of these, 819 consented to further contact, responded to the second questionnaire, and attended the research clinics. 776 were successfully followed up at 18 months. There was evidence of selective non-participation during recruitment (aged 80 years and over, lower socioeconomic group, currently in employment, experiencing anxiety or depression, brief episode of knee pain within the previous year). This did not cause significant bias in either the distribution of WOMAC scores or the association between physical function and obesity.
Conclusion
Despite recruiting a minority of the target population to the research clinics and some evidence of selective non-participation, this appears not to have resulted in significant bias of cross-sectional estimates. The main effect of non-participation in the current cohort is likely to be a loss of precision in stratum-specific estimates e.g. in those aged 80 years and over. The subgroup of individuals who attended the research clinics and who make up the CAS(K) cohort can be used to accurately estimate parameters in the reference population as a whole. The potential for selection bias, however, remains an important consideration in each subsequent analysis.
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-7-30
PMCID: PMC1435895  PMID: 16542454
9.  Severely disabling chronic pain in young adults: prevalence from a population-based postal survey in North Staffordshire 
Background
Severely disabling chronic pain in the adult population is strongly associated with a range of negative health consequences for individuals and high health care costs, yet its prevalence in young adults is less clear.
Methods
All adults aged 18–25 years old registered with three general practices in North Staffordshire were invited to complete a postal questionnaire containing questions on pain within the last 6 months, pain location and duration. Severity of chronic pain was assessed by the Chronic Pain Grade. Severely disabling chronic pain was defined as pain within the last six months that had lasted for three months or more and was highly disabling-severely limiting (Grade IV).
Results
858 responses from 2,389 were received (adjusted response = 37.0%). The prevalence of any pain within the previous six months was 66.9% (95%CI: 63.7%, 70.1%). Chronic pain was reported by 14.3% (95%CI: 12.0%, 16.8%) of respondents with severely disabling chronic pain affecting 3.0% (95%CI: 2.0%, 4.4%) of this population. Late responders were very similar to early responders in their prevalence of pain. Cross-checking the practice register against the electoral roll suggested register inaccuracies contributed to non-response.
Conclusion
Pain is a common phenomenon encountered by young adults, affecting 66.9% of this study population. Previously observed age-related trends in severely disabling chronic pain in older adults extend to younger adults. Although a small minority of younger adults are affected, they are likely to represent a group with particularly high health care needs. High levels of non-response in the present study means that these estimates should be interpreted cautiously although there was no evidence of non-response bias.
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-6-42
PMCID: PMC1187895  PMID: 16042761
10.  Is acupuncture a useful adjunct to physiotherapy for older adults with knee pain?: The "Acupuncture, Physiotherapy and Exercise" (APEX) study [ISRCTN88597683] 
Background
Acupuncture is a popular non-pharmacological modality for treating musculoskeletal pain. Physiotherapists are one of the largest groups of acupuncture providers within the NHS, and they commonly use it alongside advice and exercise. Conclusive evidence of acupuncture's clinical effectiveness and its superiority over sham interventions is lacking. The Arthritis Research Campaign (arc) has funded this randomised sham-controlled trial which addresses three important questions. Firstly, we will determine the additional benefit of true acupuncture when used by physiotherapists alongside advice and exercise for older people presenting to primary care with knee pain. Secondly, we will evaluate sham acupuncture in the same way. Thirdly, we will investigate the treatment preferences and expectations of both the participants and physiotherapists participating in the study, and explore the effect of these on clinical outcome. We will thus investigate whether acupuncture is a useful adjunct to advice and exercise for treating knee pain and gain insight into whether this effect is due to specific needling properties.
Methods/Design
This randomised clinical trial will recruit 350 participants with knee pain to three intervention arms. It is based in 43 community physiotherapy departments in 21 NHS Trusts in the West Midlands and Cheshire regions in England. Patients aged 50 years and over with knee pain will be recruited. Outcome data will be collected by self-complete questionnaires before randomisation, and 6 weeks, 6 months and 12 months after randomisation and by telephone interview 2 weeks after treatment commences. The questionnaires collect demographic details as well as information on knee-related pain, movement and function, pain intensity and affect, main functional problem, illness perceptions, self-efficacy, treatment preference and expectations, general health and quality of life. Participants are randomised to receive a package of advice and exercise; or this package plus real acupuncture; or this package plus sham acupuncture. Treatment details are being collected on a standard proforma. Interventions are delivered by experienced physiotherapists who have all received training in acupuncture to recognised national standards. The primary analysis will investigate the main treatment effects of real or sham acupuncture as an adjunct to advice and exercise.
Discussion
This paper presents detail on the rationale, design, methods, and operational aspects of the trial.
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-5-31
PMCID: PMC520743  PMID: 15345098
11.  The Knee Clinical Assessment Study – CAS(K). A prospective study of knee pain and knee osteoarthritis in the general population 
Background
Knee pain affects an estimated 25% of the adult population aged 50 years and over. Osteoarthritis is the most common diagnosis made in older adults consulting with knee pain in primary care. However, the relationship between this diagnosis and both the current disease-based definition of osteoarthritis and the regional pain syndrome of knee pain and disability is unclear. Expert consensus, based on current evidence, views the disease and the syndrome as distinct entities but the clinical usefulness of these two approaches to classifying knee pain in older adults has not been established. We plan to conduct a prospective, population-based, observational cohort study to investigate the relative merits of disease-based and regional pain syndrome-based approaches to classification and prognosis of knee pain in older adults.
Methods
All patients aged 50 years and over registered with three general practices in North Staffordshire will be invited to take part in a two-stage postal survey. Respondents to this survey phase who indicate that they have experienced knee pain within the previous 12 months will be invited to attend a research clinic for a detailed assessment. This will consist of clinical interview, physical examination, digital photography, plain x-rays, anthropometric measurement and a brief self-complete questionnaire. All consenting clinic attenders will be followed up by (i) general practice medical record review, (ii) repeat postal questionnaire at 18-months.
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-5-4
PMCID: PMC368438  PMID: 15028109
12.  The North Staffordshire Osteoarthritis Project – NorStOP: Prospective, 3-year study of the epidemiology and management of clinical osteoarthritis in a general population of older adults 
Background
The clinical syndrome of joint pain and stiffness in older people is the commonest cause of disability and health care consultation in this age group. Yet there have been few prospective studies of its course over time and its impact on personal and social life. We plan a cohort study in the general population aged 50 years and over to determine the course and prognosis of hand, hip, knee and foot pain, and the impact of these syndromes on participation levels and health care use.
Methods
All patients aged 50 years and over registered with 3 local general practices are to be recruited to a population-based cohort study through the use of a two-stage mailing process. Participants will initially complete a "Health Survey" questionnaire. This will collect information on several areas of life including socio-demographics, general health, physical function, participation, and bodily pain. Those who state that they have experienced any hand problem or any pain in their hands, hips, knees, or feet in the previous 12 months, and also give permission to be re-contacted, will be mailed a "Regional Pains Survey" questionnaire which collects detailed information on the four selected body regions (hand, hips, knees, feet). Follow-up data for the three-year period subsequent to cohort recruitment will be collected through two sources: i) general practice medical records and ii) repeat mailed survey.
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-5-2
PMCID: PMC324560  PMID: 14718062

Results 1-12 (12)