Low adherence to exercise may have influenced the proportion of OMERACT-OARSI responders in an integrated osteoarthritis care model: secondary analyses from a cluster-randomised stepped-wedge trialMoseng, T., Dagfinrud, H., van Bodegom-Vos, L. et al.
To address the well-documented gap between hip and knee osteoarthritis (OA) treatment recommendations and current clinical practice, a structured model for integrated OA care was developed and evaluated in a stepped-wedge cluster-randomised controlled trial. The current study used secondary outcomes to evaluate clinically important response to treatment through the Outcome Measures in Rheumatology Clinical Trials clinical responder criteria (OMERACT-OARSI responder criteria) after 3 and 6 months between patients receiving the structured OA care model vs. usual care. Secondly, the study aimed to investigate if the proportion of responders in the intervention group was influenced by adherence to the exercise program inherent in the model.
The study was conducted in primary healthcare in six Norwegian municipalities. General practitioners and physiotherapists received training in OA treatment recommendations and use of the structured model. The intervention group attended a physiotherapist-led OA education program and performed individually tailored exercises for 8–12 weeks. The control group received usual care. Patient-reported pain, function and global assessment of disease activity during the last week were evaluated using 11-point numeric rating scales (NRS 0–10). These scores were used to calculate the proportion of OMERACT-OARSI responders. Two-level mixed logistic regression models were fitted to investigate differences in responders between the intervention and control group.
Two hundred eighty-four intervention and 109 control group participants with hip and knee OA recruited from primary care in six Norwegian municipalities. In total 47% of the intervention and 35% of the control group participants were responders at 3 or 6 months combined; showing an uncertain between-group difference (ORadjusted 1.38 (95% CI 0.41, 4.67). In the intervention group, 184 participants completed the exercise programme (exercised ≥2 times/week for ≥8 weeks) and 55% of these were classified as responders. In contrast, 28% of the 86 non-completers were classified as responders.
The difference in proportion of OMERACT-OARSI responders at 3 and 6 months between the intervention and control group was uncertain. In the intervention group, a larger proportion of responders were seen among the exercise completers compared to the non-completers.