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  • 1 April 2017 to 31 May 2018
  • Project No: 351
  • Funding round: FR 13

STEER OA: Comorbidity

Knee osteoarthritis (OA) is a common problem that causes pain, loss of movement and function, and reduced quality of life. Most people with knee OA also have other health conditions, including heart disease, asthma and diabetes. Exercise is recommended as a core treatment for everybody with knee OA, whether they have other health conditions or not. Research shows that people with knee OA benefit from exercise, that it reduces pain and improves function, but in many studies the size of its benefits are not very large and reduce over time. This may be because some individuals respond well to exercise, and some do not. At the moment we do not know whether people with knee OA who have other health conditions have the same benefits from exercise as those who do not have other health conditions. That is what this study aims to explore.

The study has two parts.

Part one: We will summarise evidence from all existing research trials that have investigated the benefits of exercise for knee OA to explore: a) whether they have included individuals with other health conditions, and whether they have collected information on other health conditions; and b) whether the results show if outcomes from exercise are similar, better or worse in people with other health conditions.

Part two: Data from three previous trials of exercise for knee OA led by the Research Institute for Primary Care and Health Sciences at Keele University, and up to three trials found in the systematic review (part one) will be used to compare the outcomes from exercise programmes between individuals with knee OA and other health conditions and individuals without those conditions. The results will help us learn whether a targeted treatment approach, developing exercise programmes specifically for people with knee OA and other health conditions is needed.

Amount awarded: £33,514

Evidence synthesis working group

The collaboration will be conducting 18 high impact systematic reviews, under four workstreams.

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