Physical therapy vs internet-based exercise training for patients with knee osteoarthritis: results of a randomized controlled trial.
OBJECTIVE: To compare the effectiveness of physical therapy (PT, evidence-based approach) and internet-based exercise training (IBET), each vs a wait list (WL) control, among individuals with knee osteoarthritis (OA). DESIGN: Randomized controlled trial of 350 participants with symptomatic knee OA, allocated to standard PT, IBET and WL control in a 2:2:1 ratio, respectively. The PT group received up to eight individual visits within 4 months. The IBET program provided tailored exercises, video demonstrations, and guidance on progression. The primary outcome was the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC, range 0 [no problems]-96 [extreme problems]), assessed at baseline, 4 months (primary time point) and 12 months. General linear mixed effects modeling compared changes in WOMAC among study groups, with superiority hypotheses testing differences between each intervention group and WL and non-inferiority hypotheses comparing IBET with PT. RESULTS: At 4-months, improvements in WOMAC score did not differ significantly for either the IBET or PT group compared with WL (IBET: -2.70, 95% Confidence Interval (CI) = -6.24, 0.85, P = 0.14; PT: -3.36, 95% (CI) = -6.84, 0.12, P = 0.06). Similarly, at 12-months mean differences compared to WL were not statistically significant for either group (IBET: -2.63, 95% CI = -6.37, 1.11, P = 0.17; PT: -1.59, 95% CI = -5.26, 2.08, P = 0.39). IBET was non-inferior to PT at both time points. CONCLUSIONS: Improvements in WOMAC score following IBET and PT did not differ significantly from the WL group. Additional research is needed to examine strategies for maximizing benefits of exercise-based interventions for patients with knee OA. TRIAL REGISTRATION: NCT02312713.
Allen, KD; Arbeeva, L; Callahan, LF; Golightly, YM; Goode, AP; Heiderscheit, BC; Huffman, KM; Severson, HH; Schwartz, TA
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