A Telephone-based Physiotherapy Intervention for Patients with Osteoarthritis of the Knee
This study assessed the effects of a 6-week telephone based intervention on the pain intensity and physical function of patients with knee osteoarthritis (OA), and compared the results to physiotherapy conducted in the clinic. Fifty randomly selected patients with knee OA were assigned to one of two treatment groups: a clinic group (CG) and a tele-physiotherapy group (TG). The CG received thrice-weekly physiotherapist administered osteoarthritis-specific exercises in the clinic for six weeks. The TG received structured telephone calls thrice-weekly at home, to monitor self-administered osteoarthritis-specific exercises. Participants’ pain intensity and physical function were assessed at baseline, two, four, and six weeks, in the clinic environment. Within group comparison showed significant improvements across baseline, and at weeks two, four, and six for both TG and CG’s pain intensity and physical function. Between-group comparison of CG and TG’s pain intensity and physical function at baseline and weeks two, four, and six showed no significant differences. This study demonstrated that a six-week course of structured telephone calls thrice-weekly to patients at their home, to monitor self-administered osteoarthritis-specific exercises for patients with knee OA (i.e., tele-physiotherapy) achieved comparable results to physiotherapy conducted in the clinic.
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