Background Osteoarthritis is the commonest cause of disability at older ages and it is a huge burden on primary care (Peat, McCarney, & Croft, 2001). The knee joint is one of the most affected in elderly, influencing directly physical function and affecting physiological and social parameters. Therefore, it is imperative to development strategies that help individuals to change the way the disease affect their lives. International recommendations reinforce educational and exercise programs as the core of non-pharmacological approaches to enhance physical functional and relieve pain and others osteoarthritis symptoms.
Objectives The purpose was to assess the effectiveness of three months educational program for older adults with knee osteoarthritis (KOA).
Methods Participants recruitment was done in the community using various marketing strategies. Forty individuals with 60 years or more, bilateral or unilateral KOA diagnosed according to clinical and radiological criteria of the ACR (1) and independently mobile and literate participated in the program. Educational sessions regarding exercise and joint protection strategies were offered. Telephone calls were done 15 days after each educational session. Patients received a book (2), with a core exercise section. Patients in the first attendance session were taught to do registration in an exercise training diary. Self-reported measures were pain, other symptoms, activities of daily living (ADL), and quality of life assessed by Knee Injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score (KOOS) questionnaire (3), Patient Global Impression of Change Scale (PGICS).
Results Final sample included 32 adults (age: 67.8±5.3 years; bilateral KOA: 93.8%; female, 59.4%; BMI: 30.1±5.3 kg/m2). Eight participants did not complete the program (3 due to health problems and 5 for personal reasons). KOOS pain improved 10% (p=.042), and other symptoms 8%. Improvement in KOOS ADL (-8.7±13.6) and quality of life (-8.2±18.0) were also observed. 47% of the participants reported significant changes (scores 5–7) after intervention and a decrease in medication use of 31.3%.
Conclusions The educational program can be an effective and suitable way for osteoarthritis management and to improve pain and health-related quality of life, leading individuals with KOA to better control their pathology and consequently living better.
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Disclosure of Interest None declared