Objective. We previously reported that monthly telephone contact by lay personnel, to promote self-care for patients with osteoarthritis (OA), was associated with improved joint pain and physical function after 1 year of followup. The present study was a secondary analysis to determine whether improvement was contingent on intensified medical treatment.

Methods. We reanalyzed control/treatment group differences in all 40 subjects with radiographically confirmed knee OA who had had no changes in antirheumatic drug therapy or institution of physical therapy during the period of observation.

Results. Group differences in measured pain remained significant (effect size [ES] = 0.65 SD, P < 0.01). The same trend was observed for physical function (ES = 0.53 SD, P not significant).

Conclusion. The findings in this reanalysis suggest that periodic telephone support interventions are effective enough to be regarded as an adjunctive treatment for OA.