Use of non-pharmacological therapies among patients with osteoarthritis.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Non-pharmacological therapies are an important component of treatment for osteoarthritis (OA), but they may be under-used. This study examined the prevalence of self-reported use of common non-pharmacological therapies, as well as patient and physician-related predictors of use. METHODS: Subjects included 205 veterans who completed a survey regarding OA symptoms and treatments. Analyses examined the prevalence of use of three specific non-pharmacological therapies: exercise, physical therapy (PT), and dietary/herbal supplements. We also examined whether patient variables (demographics, clinical characteristics, and perceived helpfulness of non-pharmacological therapies) and physician characteristics (age, gender, race, and recommendation of non-pharmacological therapies) were associated with use of each therapy. RESULTS: Forty-six percent of subjects reported current use of exercise, 11% reported using PT, and 12%, dietary/herbal supplements. Patient demographic and clinical characteristics were generally poor predictors of use of non-pharmacological therapy. However, females were more likely to report exercising than males (p<0.05), and patients with greater disease severity were more likely to report current use of PT (p<0.001). Patients' perceived helpfulness of each therapy significantly predicted use (p<0.05). Physician demographic characteristics were not strong predictors of patients' use of therapy, but physician recommendation for exercise and PT predicted patients' use (p<0.05). CONCLUSIONS: Among this sample of veterans with OA, there was relatively low use of exercise, PT, and dietary/herbal supplements. Patients' perceptions of treatment helpfulness and physician recommendations strongly predicted use. These results signal the importance of interventions aimed at educating both patients and physicians about these therapies.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Hsieh, JB; Dominick, KL

Published Date

  • October 1, 2003

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 15 / 5

Start / End Page

  • 419 - 425

PubMed ID

  • 14703008

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1594-0667

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1007/BF03327363


  • eng

Conference Location

  • Germany