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Abstract

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. INTRODUCTION
  4. MATERIALS AND METHODS
  5. RESULTS
  6. DISCUSSION
  7. AUTHOR CONTRIBUTIONS
  8. REFERENCES

Objective

To determine the effect of patient exercise adherence within the prescribed physical therapy treatment period and after physical therapy discharge on patient outcomes of pain, physical function, and patient self-perceived effect in individuals with osteoarthritis (OA) of the hip and/or knee.

Methods

We performed a prospective observational followup study in which 150 patients with OA of the hip and/or knee receiving exercise therapy were followed for 60 months. Data were obtained from a randomized controlled trial, with assessments at baseline and 3, 15, and 60 months of followup. The association between exercise adherence and patient outcomes of pain, physical function, and self-perceived effect was examined using generalized estimating equations analyses.

Results

Adherence to recommended home exercises and being more physically active were significantly associated with better treatment outcomes of pain, self-reported physical function, physical performance, and self-perceived effect. The association between adherence and outcome was consistent over time. Adherence to home activities was only associated with better self-perceived effect.

Conclusion

Better adherence to recommended home exercises as well as being more physically active improves the long-term effectiveness of exercise therapy in patients with OA of the hip and/or knee. Both within and after the treatment period, better adherence is associated with better patient outcomes of pain, physical function, and self-perceived effect. Since exercise adherence declines over time, future research should focus on how exercise behavior can be stimulated and maintained in the long term.


INTRODUCTION

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. INTRODUCTION
  4. MATERIALS AND METHODS
  5. RESULTS
  6. DISCUSSION
  7. AUTHOR CONTRIBUTIONS
  8. REFERENCES

Osteoarthritis (OA) of the hip or knee is a common chronic and degenerative disease (1). OA causes impairments in body functions and/or structures (such as pain, reduced muscle strength, range of joint motion, and joint instability) and has a major impact on physical functioning in daily life (2–4). Patients with OA of the hip or knee are often referred to physical therapy to reduce impairments and improve overall physical function so that individuals can better meet the demands of daily living. To reduce impairments that limit patients' physical functioning, physical therapy treatment can consist of exercise therapy and patient education on the importance of being physically active. Several studies have demonstrated beneficial short-term effects of exercise therapy on pain, physical function, and patient self-perceived effect (5–7). However, the positive posttreatment effects of exercise therapy seem to decline over time and gradually disappear in the long term (8).

Several authors have hypothesized that nonadherence to self-directed exercise is one of the main reasons for poor long-term effectiveness of exercise therapy in patients with OA (8–11). Although it is well documented in the context of other chronic conditions, research to identify the extent to which adherence to self-directed exercise is a predictor of outcome in the management of OA remains limited (9, 10). In most existing studies in patients with OA, adherence was defined as attendance to treatment sessions (12–17). These studies demonstrated that consistent participation in exercise programs results in better outcomes (12–17). It can, however, be expected that the success of exercise therapy also depends on the extent to which a person's behavior corresponds to the recommendations made by the patient's physical therapist, such as completing therapeutic home exercises (e.g., muscle strengthening exercises) and being more physically active (e.g., walking, cycling, etc.). At present, only 2 well-designed studies in patients with OA investigated the relationship between the extent to which a person's behavior corresponds to agreed recommendations by the patient's physical therapist and the effectiveness of exercise therapy (18, 19). These studies demonstrated that patients who adhered to the recommended home exercises within the treatment period reported more improvement in pain and muscle strength than nonadherent patients. However, a limitation of the existing studies is that they focused on the relationship between exercise adherence and patient outcomes within the treatment period. To our knowledge, no studies are available on adherence to self-directed exercise after discharge and the impact on pain and physical functioning. Therefore, the objective of the current study was to determine the effect of patient adherence within the prescribed physical therapy treatment period and after physical therapy discharge on patient outcomes of pain, physical function, and patient self-perceived effect in individuals with OA of the hip and/or knee.

MATERIALS AND METHODS

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. INTRODUCTION
  4. MATERIALS AND METHODS
  5. RESULTS
  6. DISCUSSION
  7. AUTHOR CONTRIBUTIONS
  8. REFERENCES

Design.

We performed a prospective observational followup study investigating the association between adherence to self-directed exercise (within the prescribed physical therapy treatment period and after physical therapy discharge) on patient outcomes in individuals with OA of the hip or knee. Data were obtained from a single-blinded randomized clinical trial comparing 2 different exercise therapy interventions in patients with OA of the hip or knee, specifically an operant behavioral graded activity program and usual exercise therapy, according to the Dutch physical therapy guidelines (20). The study was approved by the medical ethics committee of the VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam.

Study sample.

A random sample of 600 physical therapists from the region of Utrecht was drawn from our institute's National Database of Primary Care Physical Therapists and was invited to participate in the study. This sample was representative for all primary care physical therapists in The Netherlands. Eighty-seven primary care physical therapists (working in 72 practices) were willing and able to participate in the study. Patients with OA of the hip or knee were recruited in 2 ways. First, patients referred to physical therapy were recruited by the participating physical therapist at their first visit to a physical therapist. Because the recruitment rate was rather slow, a second recruitment strategy was used, i.e., patients responded to articles about exercise therapy and the performed study published in local newspapers. The main inclusion criterion was that patients had OA of the hip or knee in accordance with the clinical criteria of the American College of Rheumatology (21, 22). Two hundred patients with OA of the hip or knee were included in the study. Assessments took place at baseline and 3, 15, and 60 months of followup by research assistants blinded for the kind of exercise treatment the patients received. The patients were instructed not to give information about the content of the treatment to the research assistants. More information about the sampling and recruitment, data collection, and the study findings of the original randomized controlled trial have been reported in detail elsewhere (20, 23).

Exercise therapy.

Because the data were obtained from a randomized controlled trial comparing 2 different exercise treatments, the type of exercise therapy the patients received (allocated treatment: behavioral graded activity or usual exercise therapy, according to the Dutch physical therapy guidelines) was included as the independent variable in all of the analyses to control for the influence of the differences in the content of exercise therapy. Both exercise treatments consisted of an individually tailored exercise treatment given by primary care physical therapists. Both treatments consisted of a 3-month period with a maximum of 18 sessions. Patients were advised to perform home exercises and home activities, and a more physically active lifestyle was stimulated. After the 3-month treatment period, physiotherapists advised the patients to maintain the recommended exercise behavior. Patients treated with behavioral graded activity after the 3-month treatment period received 5–7 booster sessions (given in weeks 18, 25, 34, 42, and 55). More specific information on the interventions has been published elsewhere (20, 24).

Adherence.

Adherence was defined as the extent to which a person's behavior corresponds to agreed recommendations by the patient's physical therapist (25). Three different forms of adherence were measured: 1) adherence to home exercises (exercise adherence), 2) adherence to home activities (activity adherence), and 3) adherence to the recommendation of being more physically active (physical activity).

Adherence to home exercises and home activities was measured with a self-report questionnaire, asking patients whether they performed the instructed home exercises or activities as recommended by their physical therapist, assessed on a 5-point scale (where 1 = almost never adherent, 2 = occasionally adherent, 3 = regularly adherent, 4 = often adherent, and 5 = very often adherent) (26). Patients were asked separately about their adherence to the instructed home exercises (e.g., muscle strengthening exercises) and home activities (e.g., walking or cycling). The ratings on exercise adherence and activity adherence were dichotomized as adherence (often adherent and very often adherent) versus nonadherence (regularly adherent, occasionally adherent, and almost never adherent).

Patients' levels of physical activity were assessed by the Short Questionnaire to Assess Health-Enhancing Physical Activity (SQUASH) (27). The SQUASH consists of 3 main queries, specifically, days per week, average time per day, and self-reported intensity. The SQUASH measures the amount of physical activity for commuting activities, leisure time and sport activities, household activities, and activities at work or school. The amount of physical activity was estimated by calculating the hours per week of moderate or vigorous intensity physical activity. For older adults, moderate intensity is defined as activities with an intensity of 3–5 metabolic equivalents (METS) and vigorous intensity is defined as activities with an intensity of ≥5 METS (28). METS can be defined as the ratio of work metabolic rate to a standard resting metabolic rate of 1.0 (4.184 kilojoules) × kg−1 × height−1 × 1. One MET is considered as the resting metabolic rate obtained during quiet sitting. Using the Compendium of Physical Activities by Ainsworth et al (29), an intensity score was assigned to all of the physical activities. Hours per week of moderate or vigorous intensity physical activity were calculated by the sum of the hours per week the patients performed physical activities with an intensity score of at least 3 METS.

Pain, physical functioning, and patient self-perceived effect.

Pain within 48 hours before the assessment was measured with the pain subscale of the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC; scoring range 0–20). Self-reported physical function was assessed with the physical function subscale of the WOMAC (scoring range 0–68) (30, 31). Physical performance was measured with the 5-meter walking test (32). Each patient was asked to walk to the end of the preset distance of 8 meters (consisting of an acceleration distance of 1.5 meters, measurement distance of 5 meters, and deceleration distance of 1.5 meters) at his or her “natural walking speed.” A stopwatch was used to measure in seconds the time the patients walked the 5-meter measurement distance. Patient self-perceived effect was assessed by patients on an 8-point scale (where 1 = vastly worsened and 8 = completely recovered) (33). The ratings of patient self-perceived effect were dichotomized as improved (“completely recovered,” “very much improved,” and “much improved”) versus not improved (“slightly improved,” “not changed,” “slightly worsened,” “much worsened,” and “vastly worsened”).

Demographic and clinical data.

Demographic and clinical data were collected for each patient, including age, sex, location of OA (hip, knee, or both), recruitment method (physical therapist or newspaper), and duration of symptoms (number of years that patients experience symptoms due to OA).

Statistical analyses.

Descriptive analyses were used to describe the main characteristics of the study population. All of the patients were included in the analysis, irrespective of deviations of the treatment protocol. The only exception is that patients who underwent a joint replacement surgery during the study period were considered as lost to followup from their operation date because adherence to self-directed exercise as recommended within the physical therapy treatment no longer applies in this phase and a joint replacement surgery positively influences patient outcomes, as demonstrated in earlier research (34). To study the relationship between adherence and patient outcomes of pain, physical function, and patient self-perceived effect, generalized estimating equations (GEEs) were used (35–37). GEEs correct for the dependency of individual observations; the relationships are investigated for each individual separately, and the final result is obtained by getting the population average of all individual relationships. For the longitudinal GEE analyses, an autoregressive model was used. This indicates that the outcome variables (pain, self-report physical function, and physical performance) were corrected in the analysis for the scores on the same outcome variable one time point earlier, so the outcome variable in the analysis can be considered as the change in outcome between 2 time points. The relationship between adherence and patient self-perceived effect was explored using logistic GEE analysis because patient self-perceived effect was dichotomized as improved versus not improved.

Three separate models were performed to explore the relationship between exercise adherence, activity adherence, physical activity, and the outcome measures (pain, self-report physical function, physical performance, and patient self-perceived effect). In model 1, only the allocated treatment was included as a possible confounding variable. In model 2, the allocated treatment, age, and sex were included. In model 3, the location of OA, recruitment method, and duration of symptoms were entered in the analyses as well. The recruitment method was included because earlier research has shown that different recruitment methods attract different subjects (38). To investigate whether the relationship between adherence and patient outcomes was consistent over time, similar to patients treated with behavioral graded activity or usual exercise therapy and similar to patients with hip OA and patients with knee OA, possible interaction terms were explored (e.g., time, allocated treatment, and location of OA). Because an autoregressive model was used, an independent correlation structure was assumed in all GEE analysis (37).

Exercise and activity adherence were measured on a 5-point scale that was arbitrarily dichotomized as adherence (often adherent and very often adherent) versus nonadherence (regularly adherent, occasionally adherent, and almost never adherent). To determine the robustness of the results, 2 sensitivity analyses were performed. Specifically, the analyses were repeated 1) with exercise adherence dichotomized as adherence (regularly adherent, often adherent, and very often adherent) versus nonadherence (occasionally adherent and almost never adherent); and 2) with exercise adherence dichotomized as adherence (very often adherent) versus nonadherence (often adherent, regularly adherent, occasionally adherent, and almost never adherent). All of the analyses were performed using Stata, version 10.0 (StataCorp).

RESULTS

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. INTRODUCTION
  4. MATERIALS AND METHODS
  5. RESULTS
  6. DISCUSSION
  7. AUTHOR CONTRIBUTIONS
  8. REFERENCES

Baseline characteristics of the study population are shown in Table 1. From the 200 patients included in the study, 4.0%, 10.5%, and 25.5% of the participants were lost to followup at 3, 15, and 60 months, respectively. For the present study, patients who underwent a joint replacement surgery during the study period were excluded from the analyses from the operation date. Therefore, the total number of patients who were considered as lost to followup was 5% (n = 10), 17.5% (n = 35), and 43% (n = 86) at 3, 15, and 60 months, respectively. Patients who were considered as lost to followup did not differ significantly from those who remained in the study on most of the baseline characteristics: sex, age, duration of OA, radiologic evidence, baseline pain, and baseline physical function. However, patients who were lost to followup more often tended to have hip OA or both hip and knee OA.

Table 1. Baseline characteristics of the study population (n = 200)
 Value
Women, no. (%)154 (77.0)
Age, mean ± SD years64.8 ± 7.9
Location of osteoarthritis, no. (%)
 Knee130 (65.0)
 Hip50 (25.0)
 Both20 (10.0)
Duration of symptoms, no. (%)
 <1 year47 (23.7)
 1–5 years72 (36.4)
 >5 years79 (39.9)

The majority of patients were adherent to recommended exercises within the period of treatment (57.8% at 3 months of followup). After the treatment period, at 15 and 60 months of followup, a minority of the patients still performed the recommended exercises (44.1% and 30.1% of the patients, respectively). Adherence to the recommended activities showed a similar pattern: within the period of treatment (3 months of followup), 53.8% of the patients were adherent to the recommended activities, and after the treatment period, at 15 and 60 months of followup, activity adherence was 29.5% and 36.0%, respectively. At baseline, patients were physically active for a mean ± SD of 5.8 ± 5.9 hours per week (moderate or vigorous intensity; ≥3 METS). Within the period of treatment, the mean ± SD hours per week of moderate or vigorous intensity physical activity increased to 7.3 ± 6.3. After the treatment period, at 15 and 60 months of followup, the mean ± SD hours per week of moderate or vigorous intensity physical activity was 6.8 ± 7.0 and 5.5 ± 5.0, respectively. The course of patient outcomes on pain, self-reported physical function, and physical performance within and after the treatment period is shown in Table 2. The percentage of patients who rated their self-perceived effect as “improved” at 3, 15, and 60 months of followup was 38.9%, 51.2%, and 38.7%, respectively.

Table 2. Course of pain, self-reported physical function, and physical performance within and after the treatment period*
 Within the period of treatmentAfter the period of treatment
Baseline scoresChange from baseline to 3 months of followup (n = 190)Change from 3 to 15 months of followup (n = 165)Change from 15 to 60 months of followup (n = 114)
  • *

    Values are the mean ± SD. Negative signs indicate improvement.

Pain (range 0–20)8.9 ± 3.2−2.28 ± 3.16−0.75 ± 3.171.66 ± 3.62
Self-reported physical function (range 0–68)28.9 ± 11.2−5.61 ± 8.93−0.34 ± 9.301.83 ± 10.33
Physical performance (5-meter walk), seconds4.8 ± 1.4−0.29 ± 0.940.02 ± 0.690.45 ± 0.94

Model 1: analyses adjusted for differences in the content of exercise therapy.

Adherence to recommended exercises was significantly associated with a decrease in pain (−0.9 points), self-reported physical function (−2.3 points), and physical performance (−0.24 seconds), as shown in Tables 3 and 4. The relationship between exercise adherence and self-perceived effect was not statistically significant. The association between activity adherence and pain, self-reported physical function, and physical performance was not statistically significant. Activity adherence was only associated with a better self-perceived effect. A higher level of moderate or vigorous intensity physical activity was significantly associated with a decrease in pain, self-reported physical function, and physical performance (Tables 3 and 4). For example, one hour per week more of physical activity with an intensity of at least 3 METS results in a decrease in self-reported physical function of −0.256 (95% confidence interval [95% CI] −0.366, −0.146). A higher level of moderate or vigorous intensity physical activity was also significantly associated with a positive self-perceived effect.

Table 3. Generalized estimating equations regression models of adherence and physical activity on pain and patient self-perceived effect*
 Change in painSelf-perceived effect
B95% CIPOR95% CIP
  • *

    Negative signs or ORs >1 indicate improvement. 95% CI = 95% confidence interval; OR = odds ratio.

  • Adjusted for allocated treatment.

  • Adjusted for allocated treatment, sex, and age.

  • §

    Adjusted for allocated treatment, sex, age, duration of symptoms, the location of osteoarthritis (hip, knee, or both), and recruitment method.

Exercise adherence
 Model 1−0.966−1.642, −0.2900.0051.3270.852, 2.0670.210
 Model 2−0.932−1.609, −0.2550.0071.3530.862, 2.1230.188
 Model 3§−0.962−1.644, −0.2790.0061.7251.067, 2.7880.026
Activity adherence
 Model 1−0.656−1.435, 0.1220.0981.7551.130, 2.7260.012
 Model 2−0.583−1.368, 0.2020.1451.7971.157, 2.7920.009
 Model 3§−0.653−1.445, 0.1390.1061.9831.242, 3.1640.004
Hours per week of moderate or vigorous  intensity physical activity
 Model 1−0.096−0.137, −0.055< 0.0011.0411.004, 1.0800.028
 Model 2−0.095−0.137, −0.054< 0.0011.0501.012, 1.0890.009
 Model 3§−0.092−0.133, −0.052< 0.0011.0551.014, 1.0980.008
Table 4. Generalized estimating equations regression models of adherence and physical activity on self-report physical function and physical performance*
 Change in self-reported physical functionChange in physical performance
B95% CIPB95% CIP
  • *

    Negative signs indicate improvement. 95% CI = 95% confidence interval.

  • Adjusted for allocated treatment.

  • Adjusted for allocated treatment, sex, and age.

  • §

    Adjusted for allocated treatment, sex, age, duration of symptoms, the location of osteoarthritis (hip, knee, or both), and recruitment method.

Exercise adherence
 Model 1−2.385−4.388, −0.3820.020−0.240−0.419, −0.0620.008
 Model 2−2.308−4.280, −0.3370.022−0.237−0.410, −0.0640.007
 Model 3§−2.287−4.289, −0.2850.025−0.285−0.463, −0.1070.002
Activity adherence
 Model 1−2.184−4.399, 0.0310.053−0.125−0.291, 0.0410.140
 Model 2−1.961−4.196, 0.2730.085−0.094−0.256, 0.0680.255
 Model 3§−1.941−4.187, 0.3050.090−0.132−0.293, 0.0280.106
Hours per week of moderate or vigorous  intensity physical activity
 Model 1−0.256−0.366, −0.146< 0.001−0.012−0.024, −0.0000.050
 Model 2−0.249−0.359, −0.139< 0.001−0.011−0.023, 0.0000.051
 Model 3§−0.241−0.349, −0.133< 0.001−0.011−0.022, 0.0000.058

Model 2 and model 3.

The analyses in model 2 (adjustment for differences in the content of exercise therapy, sex, and age) and model 3 (adjustment for differences in the content of exercise therapy, sex, age, duration of symptoms, location of OA, and recruitment method) did not change most of the results (Tables 3 and 4). Only the relationship between exercise adherence and self-perceived effect became statistically significant (odds ratio 1.725; 95% CI 1.067, 2.788) after adjusting for possible confounding variables (model 3).

A possible interaction with time was investigated in all of the analyses. No significant interactions with time were found, meaning that the association between adherence and outcome is consistent over time (both within and after the treatment period). Figure 1 demonstrates that patients who adhere to the recommended exercises show consistently more improvement in physical function over time. Finally, possible interaction terms with the allocated treatment and location of OA were explored in all of the analyses. No significant interaction terms were found, which means that the relationship between adherence and patient outcomes was similar for patients treated with behavioral graded activity and patients treated with usual exercise therapy, and was similar for patients with knee OA and patients with hip OA.

thumbnail image

Figure 1. Mean change in physical function over time: differences between adherent and nonadherent patients. Negative signs indicate improvement. WOMAC = Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index.

Download figure to PowerPoint

Sensitivity analyses.

Both sensitivity analyses resulted in mostly similar results. However, when adherence was dichotomized as adherence (regularly adherent, often adherent, and very often adherent) versus nonadherence (occasionally adherent and almost never adherent), the association between activity adherence and pain and physical performance became statistically significant and the association between activity adherence and self-perceived effect became not statistically significant.

DISCUSSION

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. INTRODUCTION
  4. MATERIALS AND METHODS
  5. RESULTS
  6. DISCUSSION
  7. AUTHOR CONTRIBUTIONS
  8. REFERENCES

Earlier research has shown that the positive posttreatment effects of exercise therapy seem to decline after discharge and finally disappear in the long term (8). In the literature, it is often hypothesized that a lack of adherence to recommended exercises and a more physically active lifestyle could be one of the main reasons for poor long-term effectiveness of exercise therapy (8–11). The current study shows that exercise adherence is an important predictor of the long-term effectiveness of exercise therapy; not only within the period of treatment, but also after the treatment period, adherence was significantly associated with better outcomes of pain, physical function, and self-perceived effect. The results of the current study also show that adherence declines over time. To improve the long-term effectiveness of exercise therapy, future research should focus on how exercise behavior can be stimulated and maintained in the long term. Recently, it was demonstrated that the integration of operant behavioral graded activity principles and booster sessions in exercise therapy results in better exercise adherence and a more physically active lifestyle, both within and after the treatment period (24). However, more research is needed.

Adherence to recommended activities was not significantly associated with better outcomes of pain, self-reported physical function, and physical performance. Activity adherence measures whether patients adhere to recommended activities; this could be general advice to be more physically active (e.g., walk more often) or more specific advice such as gradually increasing a patient's most problematic activities. A possible explanation of why we could not demonstrate the relationship between activity adherence and outcome in the current study could be the transition from doing the recommended activities to a more physically active lifestyle. After all, it seems logical that adherent patients who experience less pain and impairments in physical function in the course of time will be able to better meet the demands of daily living. Consequently, they will adapt a more physically active lifestyle, but will probably not experience this as being adherent to the recommendation of their physical therapist. This explanation seems reasonable because a significant association was found between the amount of moderate or vigorous intensity physical activity and better outcomes of pain, self-reported physical function, and physical performance. However, the results also demonstrate that the effect of being one hour per week more physically active is small, which suggests that for a clinically relevant effect, patients need to increase their physical activity level with at least a few hours per week.

The results demonstrate that, in addition to adherence to exercises, activities and a more physically active lifestyle were associated with patient self-perceived effect, although the relationship of adherence to exercise was only significant after controlling for potentially confounding characteristics. Self-perceived effect is one of the recommended outcome dimensions for clinical studies by the Outcome Measures in Rheumatology Clinical Trials group in patients with hip or knee OA. However, we believe that asking patients about their self-perceived effect is vulnerable for recall bias and bias due to a changing perspective of patients about their symptoms, especially with a long-term followup assessment as used in our study. Therefore, we believe that the results on self-perceived effect should be interpreted with caution because the presented association could be an under- or overestimation of the actual relationship between adherence and patient self-perceived effect.

There are a few limitations to this study that need to be mentioned. First, a gold standard in measuring exercise adherence does not exist (39). In this study, exercise adherence was measured with a self-report questionnaire. Although widely used, the quality of self-report questionnaires to measure exercise adherence is debatable. They are known to overestimate adherence and to be susceptible to bias caused by patients' memories, social desirability, and social approval (39). On the other hand, a self-report questionnaire has the advantage that it is a simple method to evaluate exercise adherence. Other possible measures include diaries, interviewing, or more objectively monitoring with an accelerometer. Compliance to diaries over time is poor, and diary data have shown to be vulnerable to patient deceit and inaccuracies. Interviews increase the risk for socially desirable answers, whereas accelerometers or pedometers are reasonably accurate for measuring walking activities, but cannot evaluate other types of movement. For these reasons, we decided to use a self-report questionnaire. Second, only the analyses of the relationship between physical activity and patient outcomes, the dose, and intensity were taken into account. It is expected, however, that the relationship between adherence to recommended exercises or activities and patient outcomes also depends on the quality, dose, and intensity of the recommended exercises. Because these aspects were not measured in the questionnaire that was used, it was not possible to adjust the analyses for these characteristics. This may have led to an underestimation of the association between adherence and patient outcomes of pain, physical function, and patient self-perceived effect. For future research, it is therefore recommended to develop a self-report questionnaire to measure adherence to recommended exercise and activities that takes into account the quality, dose, and intensity of the recommended exercise behavior.

In conclusion, better adherence to recommended home exercises as well as being more physically active improves the long-term effectiveness of exercise therapy in patients with OA of the hip and/or knee. Both within and after the treatment period, better adherence is associated with better patient outcomes on pain, physical function, and self-perceived effect. Since exercise adherence declines over time, future research should focus on how exercise behavior can be stimulated and maintained in the long term. Furthermore, potential predictors of adherence within and after the treatment period should be explored so that physical therapists know which types of patients are at risk for nonadherence.

AUTHOR CONTRIBUTIONS

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. INTRODUCTION
  4. MATERIALS AND METHODS
  5. RESULTS
  6. DISCUSSION
  7. AUTHOR CONTRIBUTIONS
  8. REFERENCES

All authors were involved in drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content, and all authors approved the final version to be submitted for publication. Mr. Pisters had full access to all of the data in the study and takes responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis.

Study conception and design. Pisters, Veenhof, Schellevis, Dekker.

Acquisition of data. Pisters.

Analysis and interpretation of data. Pisters, Veenhof, Schellevis, Twisk, Dekker, De Bakker.

REFERENCES

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. INTRODUCTION
  4. MATERIALS AND METHODS
  5. RESULTS
  6. DISCUSSION
  7. AUTHOR CONTRIBUTIONS
  8. REFERENCES
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