Challenges in Evaluating an Arthritis Self-management Program for People with Hip and Knee Osteoarthritis in Real-world Clinical Settings

The Journal of Rheumatology, 03/06/2012

Ackerman IN et al. – Significant challenges hampered this evaluation of the Arthritis Self–Management Program (ASMP). The observed lack of enthusiasm from potential referrers and patients raises doubts about the practicality of this intervention in real–world settings.

Methods

  • Individuals with hip or knee osteoarthritis referred to orthopedic surgeons or rheumatologists at 6 hospitals in Victoria, Australia, were recruited.
  • In a randomized controlled trial, participants received the Stanford ASMP and self–help book (intervention) or book only (control).
  • Assessments included the Assessment of Quality of Life instrument (AQoL; range –0.04 to 1.00) and Health Education Impact Questionnaire (heiQ; range 1–6) at baseline and up to 12 months.
  • The primary outcome was HRQOL at 12 months (assessed using the AQoL).

Results

  • Recruitment was concluded early due to persistent challenges including infrequent referrals and patient inability or disinterest in participating.
  • Of 1125 individuals screened, only 120 were randomized (control, n = 62; intervention, n = 58).
  • Seven ASMP were conducted while 18 scheduled ASMP were cancelled.
  • Forty–four of 58 intervention group participants received the intervention as allocated (76%); all control group participants were sent the book (100%).
  • Ninety–four participants (78%) completed 12–month assessments (control, 90%; intervention, 66%).
  • There was no difference in HRQOL at 12 months (adjusted mean difference –0.02, 95% CI –0.09 to 0.05).
  • At 6 weeks, the intervention group reported higher heiQ skill and technique acquisition scores (adjusted mean difference 0.29, 95% CI 0.04 to 0.55); however, this dissipated by 3 months.

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