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J Rheumatol. 2006 Apr;33(4):744-56.

Do exercise and self-management interventions benefit patients with osteoarthritis of the knee? A metaanalytic review.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, San Diego State University, San Diego, California 92182-4611, USA.



Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most prevalent health condition among seniors and it causes significant pain and disability. We assessed the influence of patient education and exercise regimens on the well-being of patients with knee OA.


A metaanalysis was conducted on 16 studies reporting exercise and/or self-management interventions for patients with knee OA. The effects on physical and psychological well-being were assessed immediately after the interventions.


Compared to control conditions, exercise regimens led to improvement in physical health (by self-report and direct measures) and in overall impact of OA. Perceived psychological health remained unchanged by the exercise programs. Although the effect sizes for the self-management programs were significant for psychological outcomes and for the overall effect of OA, there was a significant difference between self-management and control groups only in psychological outcomes.


Overall, both patient education and exercise regimens had a modest, yet clinically important, influence on patients' well-being.

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