Table 6.2Patient function

Function outcomeReferenceInterventionAssessment timeOutcome/effect size
Exercise vs control
Self-reported disability1 MA (Roddy et al. 2005) 2 RCTs (N=385)Aerobic walking vs no-exercise control interventionsTrial duration: mean 7.2 months, range 8 weeks to 2 yearsEffect size: 0.46,% CI 0.25 to 0.67, p<0.05
Favours exercise
Self-reported disability1 MA (Roddy et al. 2005), 8 RCTs (N=2004)Home-based quadriceps strengthening exercise vs no-exercise control interventionsTrial duration: mean 7.2 months, range 8 weeks to 2 yearsEffect size: 0.32,% CI 0.23 to 0.41, p<0.05
Favours exercise
Self-reported disability (LI 17 questionnaire)1 RCT (Huang et al. 2003) (N=132)Isokinetic, isotonic, and isometric exercise groups vs no exercise1 year follow-upp<0.05
Favours exercise
Self-reported disability (GARS)1 RCT (Tak 2005) (N=94)Exercise (strength training and home exercises) vs no treatment3 months follow-upNS
Hip function (Harris hip score)1 RCT (Tak 2005) (N=94)Exercise (strength training and home exercises) vs control3 months follow-upNS
Functional performance1 RCT (Thorstensson et al. 2005) (N=61)Weight-bearing exercise vs control (no treatment)6 months follow-upNS
Level of physical activity (Zutphen Physical Activity Questionnaire); observed disability (video of patient standard tasks)1 RCT (van Baar et al. 2001) (N=183)Strengthening exercise vs educational advice control groupAfter 9 months of follow-upNS
Risk of activities of daily living (ADL) disability (30-item questionnaire)1 RCT (Penninx et al. 2001) (N=250)Aerobic exercise vs attention control18 months follow-upCox proportional hazards: RR 0.53,%CI 0.33 to 0.85, p=0.009
Favours exercise
Risk of activities of daily living (ADL) disability (30-item questionnaire)1 RCT (Penninx et al. 2001) (N=250)Resistance exercise vs attention control18 months follow-upCox proportional hazards: RR 0.60,%CI 0.38 to 0.97, p=0.04
Favours exercise
Risk of moving from a non-ADL disabled to an ADL-disabled state over this period1 RCT (Penninx et al. 2001) (N=250)Aerobic exercise vs attention control18 months follow-upRR 0.45,%CI 0.26 to 0.78, p=0.004
Favours exercise
Risk of moving from a non-ADL disabled to an ADL-disabled state over this period1 RCT (Penninx et al. 2001) (N=250)Resistance exercise vs attention control18 months follow-upRR 0.53%CI 0.31 to 0.91, p=0.02
Favours exercise
WOMAC function1 RCT (Fransen et al. 2007) (N=152)Tai chi exercise vs attention control0–12 weeks (end of treatment)Standardised response mean: 0.63,% CI 0.50 to 0.76, p<0.05.
Favours exercise
WOMAC overall score1 RCT (Brismee et al. 2007) (N=41)Tai chi exercise vs attention control9 weeks (mid-treatment)p<0.05
Favours exercise
WOMAC overall score1 RCT (Brismee et al. 2007) (N=41)Tai chi exercise vs attention control3 and 6 weeks (mid-treatment), at 12 weeks (end of treatment) and at 4 weeks and 6 weeks post-treatmentNS
Activities of daily living scores (KOOS subscale)1 RCT (Thorstensson et al. 2005) (N=61)Weight-bearing exercise vs control (no treatment)6 months follow-upNS
WOMAC function1 RCT (Messier et al. 2004) (N=316)Exercise vs healthy lifestyle18 months post-randomisationNS
WOMAC function1 RCT (Messier et al. 2004) (N=316)Diet vs healthy lifestyle18 months post-randomisationNS
Exercise + other therapy vs control or exercise
WOMAC function1 RCT (Messier et al. 2004) (N=316)Diet + exercise (aerobic and resistance) vs healthy lifestyle18 months post-randomisationp<0.05
Favours exercise
WOMAC function1 RCT (Ones et al. 2006) (N=80)Exercise (isometric, insotonic, stepping) + hotpacks + ultrasound vs exercise onlyStudy endpoint (16 weeks)p<0.05
Favours intervention
WOMAC function1 RCT (Hay et al. 2006)Community physiotherapy + advice leaflet vs control (no exercise, advice leaflet + telephone call)3 months, (2 weeks post-treatment)Mean difference 3.99,% CI 1.2 to 6.8, p=0.008
Favours intervention
WOMAC function (change from baseline)1 RCT (Hurley et al. 2007)Rehabilitation programme (progressive exercise + group discussion) + usual primary care vs usual primary care6 months (4.5 months post-treatment)Mean difference −3.33,% CI −5.88 to −0.78, p=0.01
Favours intervention
WOMAC total (change from baseline)1 RCT (Hurley et al. 2007)Rehabilitation programme (progressive exercise + group discussion) + usual primary care vs usual primary care6 months (4.5 months post-treatment)Mean difference −4.59,%CI −8.30 to −0.88, p=0.015
Favours intervention
WOMAC function, (change from baseline)1 RCT (Hay et al. 2006)Community physiotherapy + advice leaflet vs control (no exercise, advice leaflet + telephone call)6 months and 12 months (approximately 4 months and 10 months post-treatment)NS

From: 6, Non-pharmacological management of osteoarthritis

Cover of Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis: National Clinical Guideline for Care and Management in Adults.
NICE Clinical Guidelines, No. 59.
National Collaborating Centre for Chronic Conditions (UK).
Copyright © 2008, Royal College of Physicians of London.

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