Osteoarthritis year in review 2017: rehabilitation and outcomes

D Schiphof, J J van den Driest, J Runhaar
Osteoarthritis and Cartilage 2018, 26 (3): 326-340

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this systematic review was to describe studies examining rehabilitation for people with osteoarthritis (OA) and to summarize findings from selected key systematic reviews (SRs) and randomized controlled trials (RCTs).

DESIGN: A systematic search was performed using Pubmed, Embase and Cochrane databases from April 1st 2016 to May 15th 2017 using the terms 'osteoarthritis', 'randomized controlled trial', and 'systematic review'. Inclusion criteria were: clinically or radiologically diagnosed patients with OA, rehabilitation treatment, RCT or SRs. A selection of the included studies is discussed based on study quality and perceived importance to the field; including those that are innovative, inform the direction of the field or generate controversy. Methodological quality of the included studies was assessed using the PEDro-scale for RCTs and the Amstar guideline for SRs.

RESULTS: From 1211 articles, 80 articles met the eligibility criteria including 21 SRs and 61 RCTs. The median of the methodological quality of the SRs and RCTs was 7 (2-9) and 6 (3-10), respectively. The studies were grouped into several themes, covering the most important rehabilitation fields.

CONCLUSIONS: Striking is the small number of studies investigating another joint (18%) than the knee (82%). Exercise is the most common treatment evaluated and should be accompanied with education to effectuate a behavioural change in physical activity of people with OA. No new insights in the field of braces (or orthoses) and in the field of acupuncture were found.

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