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Primary Title: Assessing the Efficacy of the Stop OsteoARthritis (SOAR) program: A randomized delayed-controlled trial in persons at increased risk of early onset post-traumatic knee osteoarthritis.

OBJECTIVE: Assess the efficacy of an 8-week virtual, physiotherapist (PT)-guided knee health program (SOAR) to improve knee extensor strength in individuals at risk of post-traumatic knee osteoarthritis (PTOA).

METHOD: In this superiority, randomized delayed-control trial, persons aged 16-35 years, 1-4 years after a self-reported knee joint injury were randomly assigned (1:1) to receive the SOAR program immediately (experimental group) or after a 9-week delay (control group). SOAR includes 1) one-time Knee Camp (virtual PT-guided group education, knee assessment, 1:1 exercise and physical activity goal-setting); 2) Weekly personalized home-based exercise and physical activity program with tracking; 3) Weekly 1:1 PT counseling (virtual). The primary outcome was change in isokinetic knee extensor strength (baseline to 9-weeks). Additional outcomes included change in self-reported knee-related quality-of-life (QOL), self-efficacy, self-management and kinesiophobia, and physical activity (accelerometer) at 9 and 18-weeks. Linear regression models estimated the effect of the 8-week intervention at the primary endpoint (9-week).

RESULTS: 49 of 54 randomized participants completed the study (91%). Participants were a mean±SD age of 27±5.0 years, and 2.4±0.9 years post-injury. No mean between group differences for the primary (0.05; 95%CI: -0.10,0.19) or other outcomes were seen at 9 weeks except for greater improvements in perceived self-management (Partner in Health Scale; 11.3/96, 95%CI: 5.5,17.1) and kinesiophobia (Tampa Scale of Kinesiophobia; -4.4/33, 95%CI: -7.0,-1.8).

CONCLUSION: For active persons with elevated risk of PTOA, an 8-week SOAR program did not change knee-related strength, QOL, self-efficacy, or physical activity, on average, but may benefit the ability to self-manage knee health and kinesiophobia.

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