Can the provision of information to patients with osteoarthritis improve functional status?. A randomized, controlled trial

Authors

  • Morris Weinberger PhD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Durham VA Medical Center, and the Duke University Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development, Durham, North Carolina
    • Health Services Research and Development Field Program (152), Veterans Administration Medical Center, 508 Fulton Street, Durham, NC 27705
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  • William M. Tierney MD,

    1. Divisions of General Internal Medicine, Indiana University School of Medicine, and the Regenstrief Institute for Health Care, Indianapolis, Indiana
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  • Patricia Booher BA,

    1. Divisions of General Internal Medicine, Indiana University School of Medicine, and the Regenstrief Institute for Health Care, Indianapolis, Indiana
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  • Barry P. Katz PhD

    1. Divisions of Biostatistics, Indiana University School of Medicine, and the Regenstrief Institute for Health Care, Indianapolis, Indiana
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Abstract

After we assessed the functional status of 439 patients with osteoarthritis, we randomly assigned them to 1 of 3 intervention groups or to a control group. The interventions consisted of providing information, and differed only in the method of delivery: by phone, in person at the clinic, or both. Physical health improved (P = 0.02), pain was reduced (P = 0.02), and psychological health improved marginally (P = 0.10) in patients contacted by phone compared with those not contacted by phone. In those contacted only at the clinic, physical health worsened (P = 0.02), but neither pain (P = 0.80) nor psychological health (P = 0.90) differed from the values in patients not contacted at the clinic. We conclude that telephone contact is a useful intervention that can enhance the functional status of patients with osteoarthritis.

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