Feasibility of high dose medical exercise therapy in patients with long-term symptomatic knee osteoarthritis
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Purpose: High repetition high dose medical exercise therapy (MET) is a promising treatment for patients with musculoskeletal pain. However, little is known regarding the feasibility of MET in patients with symptomatic knee osteoarthritis (OA). The aim of this study was to investigate the feasibility of MET in patients with symptomatic knee pain with radiographic verified OA. Methods: Patients with symptomatic knee osteoarthritis were recruited to a group-based high repetitive high dose MET intervention for 12 weeks in a primary health care setting. Indicators of feasibility included processes (recruitment, program adherence, and exercise compliance), and scientific feasibility (safety and pain evaluated by using the Visual Analogue Scale (VAS)). Results: Out of 31 individuals with symptomatic knee OA, 29 (93%) were included in this study. A total of 26 patients (90%) completed the intervention and 83% reached an attendance rate of ≥30 treatments. No adverse events were reported, and a majority of the patients reported a pain intensity <30 mm (VAS) throughout the intervention period. The results showed a 70% reduction of median pain intensity between baseline (33 mm, IQR: 39), and post-assessment (10 mm, IQR: 25, P = .003). Conclusion: These findings support an overall positive feasibility of MET for patients with symptomatic knee OA. The results also demonstrated that achieving a high dose of exercises might be challenging for this population. Thus, individual variations in exercise dose may be a confounding factor when evaluating high dose MET in future clinical studies.