HealthDay News — Digitally delivered exercise programs benefit pain and functional outcomes among patients with knee osteoarthritis compared with routine self-management, according to a study published online Feb. 23 in JAMA Network Open.

Sameer Akram Gohir, Ph.D., from the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom, and colleagues randomly assigned individuals aged 45 years or older with a diagnosis of knee osteoarthritis to either a smartphone application-based treatment (48 patients) or routine self-management (57 patients). Outcomes were evaluated at six weeks.

The researchers found that at follow-up, the intervention group showed a greater numerical rating scale pain score reduction than the control group, as well as better improvements in the 30-second sit-to-stand test and Timed Up-and-Go test. Additionally, the intervention group showed better improvements in the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index subscales for pain, stiffness, and physical function. The magnitude of within-group changes in pain and function outcomes in the intervention group added up to medium to very strong effects. No adverse events were reported.


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“These findings suggest that digitally delivered treatment information provided an important patient benefit and may decrease the burden of treatment for knee osteoarthritis on both patients and health care systems,” the authors write.

Two authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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