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Public opinion on community-based education and exercise programs for managing hip and knee osteoarthritis-like symptoms: results of a survey

Authors Davis A, Palaganas M, Li L

Received 2 December 2015

Accepted for publication 2 February 2016

Published 9 March 2016 Volume 2016:10 Pages 283—290


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Dr Johnny Chen

Aileen M Davis,1–5 Marvilyn Palaganas,1 Linda C Li6,7

1Division of Health Care and Outcomes Research, 2Arthritis Community Research and Evaluation Unit, Krembil Research Institute, University Health Network, 3Department of Physical Therapy, Institute of Health Policy, 4Management and Evaluation, 5Institute of Rehabilitation Science, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, 6Arthritis Research Canada, Richmond, 7Department of Physical Therapy, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada

Introduction: In North America, delivery of targeted exercise and education programs by health professionals for people with hip and knee osteoarthritis (OA) poses challenges related to cost and access. Linking the wellness and health sectors could increase program availability. We evaluated if people with OA were willing to participate in programs delivered by trainers in community centers/gyms.
Methods: We conducted an online survey of the general public in Canada over a period of 2 months. Participants included those aged ≥30 years with self-reported chronic OA-like knee or hip pain. We evaluated access to community/fitness centers, exercise frequency, interest in attending an evidence-based program twice a week for 6 weeks, and willingness to pay. Analyses included descriptive statistics with 95% confidence intervals and chi-square tests to evaluate factors associated with willingness to attend the program.
Results: After removing duplicate records, 751 respondents completed the survey with 408 likely having hip and/or knee OA and never having received a joint replacement. These 408 respondents had an age range of 30 to ≥75 years and 86% were female. Of the 408, (63.7%) were between 45 and 64 years of age. Only two respondents reported that a community center was >1 hour away. One hundred and fifty-six (38%) reported a current membership, and 203 (50.4%) reported exercise 3 days/wk, 120 (29.8%) <3 days, and 80 (19.9%) reported no exercise. Two hundred and ninety-seven respondents (73.7%) were willing to attend a program, and, of these, 26% were willing to pay $100 Cdn or more. Age, sex, access to a community center/gym, current gym membership, and current frequency of exercise were not significantly associated with willingness to attend a program.
Conclusion: Almost 75% of respondents with OA, despite one in three having a community center membership, were interested in attending a targeted program delivered in community/fitness centers. A program in the wellness sector may be a viable option to support people in managing their hip and or knee OA.

Keywords: osteoarthritis self-management, neuromuscular exercise, community gyms, internet survey

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