BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 2018 19:263

Construction of an adherence rating scale for exercise therapy for patients with knee osteoarthritis

Jianji Wang, Long Yang, Qingjun Li, Zhanyu Wu, Yu Sun, Qiang Zou, Xuanze Li, Zhe Xu and Chuan Ye


Knee osteoarthritis (KOA) is one of the most common chronic diseases in the elderly and is the primary cause of the loss of motor function and disability in this population. Exercise therapy is a core, basic and matureand treatment method of treating patients with KOA. Exercise therapy is “strongly recommended” or “recommended” in the diagnosis and treatment guidelines of osteoarthritis in many countries, and most scholars advocate exercise therapy as the preferred rehabilitation method for KOA patients. However, poor long-term adherence is a serious problem affecting the therapeutic effect of this mature treatment. The objective of this study was to construct a concise and practical adherence rating scale (ARS) based on the exercise therapy adherence prediction model in patients with knee osteoarthritis.


A binary logistic regression model was established, with the adherence of 218 cases of KOA patients as the dependent variable. The patients’ general information, exercise habits, knowledge, attitude, and exercise therapy were independent variables. The regression coefficients were assigned to various variables in the model, and the ARS was constructed accordingly. Receiver operating characteristic curves and curve fitting were used to analyse the effect of the ARS in predicting the adherence and to determine the goodness of fit for the adherence. The external validity of the ARS was examined in a randomized controlled trial.


The construction of the adherence model and the ARS included the following variables: age (1 point), education level (1 point), degree of social support (2 points), exercise habits (3 points), knowledge of KOA prevention and treatment (2 points), degree of care needed to treat the disease (1 point), familiarity with exercise therapy (4 points) and treatment confidence (3 points). The critical value of the total score of the ARS was 6.50, with a sensitivity of 87.20% and a specificity of 76.34%.


A KOA exercise therapy adherence model and a simple and practical ARS were constructed. The ARS has good internal validity and external validity and can be used to evaluate the adherence to exercise therapy in patients with KOA.

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