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Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2013 Oct;21(10):1494-503. doi: 10.1016/j.joca.2013.06.009. Epub 2013 Jun 21.

Patient education with or without manual therapy compared to a control group in patients with osteoarthritis of the hip. A proof-of-principle three-arm parallel group randomized clinical trial.

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Institute of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark; Nordic Institute of Chiropractic and Clinical Biomechanics, Odense, Denmark. Electronic address:



To investigate the effectiveness of a patient education (PE) program with or without the added effect of manual therapy (MT) compared to a minimal control intervention (MCI).


In a single-center university hospital setting, a total of 118 patients with clinical and radiographic unilateral hip osteoarthritis (OA) from primary care were randomized into one of three groups: PE, PE plus MT or MCI. The PE was taught by a physiotherapist involving five sessions. The MT was delivered by a chiropractor involving 12 sessions and the MCI included a home stretching program. Primary outcome was self-reported pain severity on an 11-box numeric rating scale (NRS) immediately following a 6-week intervention period. Patients were followed for 1 year.


Primary analysis included 111 patients (94%). In the combined group (PE + MT), a clinically relevant reduction in pain severity compared to the MCI of 1.90 points (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.9-2.9) was achieved. Effect size (Cohen's d) for the PE + MT minus the MCI was 0.92 (95% CI 0.41-1.42). Number needed to treat for PE + MT was 3 (95% CI 2-7). No difference was found between the PE and MCI groups, with mean difference 0.0 (95% CI -1.0 to 1.0). At 12 months, not including patients receiving hip surgery the statistically significant difference favoring PE + MT was maintained.


For primary care patients with OA of the hip, a combined intervention of MT and PE was more effective than a MCI. PE alone was not superior to the MCI.




Hip; Manual therapy; Osteoarthritis; Patient education

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