BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 2019 20:342

Effectiveness of internet-delivered education and home exercise supported by behaviour change SMS on pain and function for people with knee osteoarthritis: a randomised controlled trial protocol

Rachel K. Nelligan, Rana S. Hinman, Jessica Kasza & Kim L. Bennell
Knee

Background

Knee osteoarthritis (OA) is a prevalent and chronic condition with no known cure. Exercise is advocated in all clinical guidelines due to its positive effects on symptoms. Despite this, exercise participation is often poor in people with knee OA with access to exercise treatments a known barrier. Internet-delivered exercise interventions have the potential to improve access to evidence-based exercise treatments and can benefit OA outcomes, although non-usage and low adherence potentially limit their effectiveness. Short message services (SMS) show promise in facilitating exercise adherence and may be one solution to improve adherence to internet-delivered exercise interventions. The combination of internet-delivered exercise and SMS adherence support has not been specifically evaluated in people with knee OA.

Methods

This protocol reports a two-arm parallel-design, assessor- and participant-blinded randomised controlled trial. This trial is recruiting 206 people aged 45 years and older, with a clinical diagnosis of knee OA from the Australian-wide community. Eligible and consenting participants are enrolled and randomised to receive access to either i) ‘My Knee Education’, an education control website containing OA and exercise information only or ii) a combined intervention that includes a website, ‘My Knee Exercise’, containing the same educational information as the control, guidance to increase general physical activity, and the prescription of a 24-week self-directed home-based lower-limb strengthening program in addition to a 24-week behaviour change SMS exercise adherence program. Outcome measures are being collected at baseline and 24-weeks. Primary outcomes are self-reported knee pain and physical function. Secondary outcomes include another self-reported measure of knee pain, function in sport and recreation, quality-of-life, physical activity, self-efficacy, participant satisfaction and perceived global change.

Discussion

This randomised controlled trial will provide evidence about the effectiveness of a combined intervention of internet-delivered OA and exercise education, physical activity guidance and prescription of a 24-week lower-limb strengthening exercise program supported by a behaviour change SMS program compared to internet delivered OA and exercise education alone.

Trial registration

ACTRN12618001167257/13th July 2018.


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