Osteoarthritis year in review 2018: rehabilitation and outcomes

N. J. Collins*, H. F. Hart, K. A. G. Mills

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    52 Citations (Scopus)


    Objective: Conduct a systematic review of systematic reviews and randomised controlled trials (RCTs) from the past year evaluating rehabilitation for people with osteoarthritis, and provide narrative synthesis of findings focused on core recommended treatments for osteoarthritis (exercise, education, biomechanical interventions, weight loss). Design: A comprehensive search strategy was used to search PubMed, EMBASE and Cochrane databases (16th May 2017 to 22nd March 2018). Search terms included ‘osteoarthritis’, ‘rehabilitation’, 'systematic review’, and ‘randomised controlled trial’. Inclusion criteria were: (1) RCT, or systematic review of randomised clinical trials (RCTs); (2) human participants with osteoarthritis (any joint); (3) evaluation of rehabilitation intervention; and (4) at least one patient-reported measure. Methodological quality was evaluated using the Assessment of Multiple Systematic Reviews (AMSTAR) tool (systematic reviews) and PEDro rating scale (RCTs). Narrative synthesis mapped findings to core recommendations from existing osteoarthritis clinical guidelines. Results: From 1994 records, 13 systematic reviews and 36 RCTs were included. 73% of these evaluated knee osteoarthritis (36 studies). The remaining studies evaluated hand osteoarthritis (6 studies), hip, hip/knee and general osteoarthritis (each 2 studies), and neck osteoarthritis (1 study). Exercise was the most common intervention evaluated (31%). Updated recommendations for exercise prescription and preliminary guidance for psychological interventions are provided. Conclusion: Level 1 and 2 osteoarthritis rehabilitation literature continues to be dominated by knee osteoarthritis studies. Consistent with current clinical guidelines, exercise should be a core treatment for osteoarthritis, but future studies should ensure that exercise programs follow published dose guidelines. There is a clear need for research on rehabilitation for hip, hand, foot/ankle, shoulder and spine osteoarthritis.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)378-391
    Number of pages14
    JournalOsteoarthritis and Cartilage
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2019


    • Exercise
    • Patient-reported outcomes
    • Rehabilitation


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