Evidence Based Practice and Osteoarthritis


In honor of May being Arthritis Awareness Month we wanted to alert you to a promising study looking at which subgroup of patients with OA benefits from physical therapy.

Few studies have investigated or identified common clinical tests and measures as being associated with progression of hip osteoarthritis (OA); fewer still are longitudinal studies exploring prognostic variables associated with long-term outcome following physical therapy treatment.

The focus of this study: http://www.hookedonevidence.org/searchresults.cfm?process=1&ReviewID=15375 (APTA members will need to log in to read the article) was the identification of factors to identify those who responded to physical therapy interventions. The authors report their results are the first step in the development of a preliminary cluster of baseline variables that identify patients with hip osteoarthritis as positive responders to physical therapy interventions. This study showed that selected combinations of unilateral hip pain, age of < 58 years, pain of > 6/10 on the NPRS, a 40-m SPWT value of <25.9 seconds, and a duration of symptoms of <1 year were associated with a favorable response to physical therapy treatment in patients with hip osteoarthritis. 

Share your thoughts with how consistent your clinical experience is with these findings.