A physical therapy app that offers a self-managed exercise and education program to help improve pain and physical function for patients with osteoarthritis has been described in a study published online in PLOS ONE.

Leif E. Dahlberg, M.D., Ph.D., from Lund University in Sweden, and colleagues used data from patients with hip and knee osteoarthritis participating in a digital self-management program (0 to 24 weeks: 499 patients; 0 to 48 weeks: 138 patients).

The researchers found that for the 24-week group, pain numeric rating scale scores (0 to 10) decreased monthly by −0.43 units (mean knee pain, 5.6 to 3.1; mean hip pain, 5.9 to 3.8) and 30-second chair stand test repetitions increased monthly by 0.76 repetitions (mean for knee, 10.0 to 14.3 repetitions; mean for hip, 10.9 to 14.8).

For the group with 48-week adherence, pain decreased monthly by −0.39 units (mean knee pain, 5.7 to 3.2; mean hip pain, 5.8 to 3.8) and repetitions increased by 0.72 repetitions (mean repetitions for knee, 10.3 to 14.4; mean for hip, 11.1 to 14.9).

“We expected patients to see an improvement, but these results exceeded our expectations,” a co-author said in a statement.

“This demonstrates that using digital tools when treating chronic illnesses such as osteoarthritis can work very well.”

SOURCE: https://www.practiceupdate.com/c/97910/1/6/?elsca1=emc_enews_daily-digest&elsca2=email&elsca3=practiceupdate_primary&elsca4=primary-care&elsca5=newsletter&rid=NTU2MjE4MTIzNzES1&lid=10332481

REFERENCE: Dahlberg et al: Improving osteoarthritis care by digital means – Effects of a digital self-management program after 24- or 48-weeks of treatment; https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0229783