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Use of Nondrug, Nonsurgical Options Low in Hip, Knee OA

Docs need to encourage patients to use exercise, weight loss as recommended in guidelines

MONDAY, Feb. 16, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Usage of nondrug, nonoperative interventions in community-dwelling individuals with hip and knee osteoarthritis (OA) is low, according to research published in the February issue of Arthritis Care & Research.

Rana S. Hinman, Ph.D., of the University of Melbourne in Parkville, Australia, and colleagues analyzed data from questionnaires administered to a convenience sample of 591 individuals with hip or knee OA. The questionnaires asked about past and/or current use of 17 nondrug, nonoperative interventions for hip or knee OA.

The researchers found that participants currently were using 0.8 ± 0.9 (mean ± SD) of the strongly recommended interventions. The most common currently used interventions were making efforts to lose weight (50 percent; 294 participants) and wearing shoe orthoses (30 percent; 175 participants). The most common interventions that participants had tried in the past but were no longer using were strengthening exercises (26 percent; 152 participants) and stretching exercises (23 percent; 133 participants). Twelve percent (71 participants) reported never using any of the interventions.

"Use of nondrug, nonoperative interventions was low among people with hip and knee OA," the authors write. "Our findings show evidence-practice gaps, particularly with respect to the interventions most strongly recommended in clinical guidelines for hip and knee OA (weight loss and exercise)."

Two authors receive royalties from sales of an educational OA DVD and an OA shoe.

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