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Review: exercise therapy may reduce pain and disability in osteoarthritis of the hip or knee

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 QUESTION: In patients with osteoarthritis of the hip or knee, does exercise therapy reduce pain and disability?

Data sources

Studies were identified by searching Medline (1966 to September 1997), EMBASE/Excerpta Medica (1988 to September 1997), CINAHL (1982 to September 1997), the Cochrane Controlled Trials Register, and bibliographies of relevant articles.

Study selection

Studies were selected if they were full reports, published in any language, of randomised controlled trials (RCTs) involving patients with osteoarthritis of the hip or knee that was clinically or radiologically assessed; treatment included exercise therapy; and ≥1 of the outcome measures included pain, self reported or observed disability, or patient's global assessment of effect. Studies were excluded if they involved perioperative exercise therapy or if the intervention groups received identical exercise therapy.

Data extraction

2 reviewers independently assessed the quality of study methods, and 1 reviewer extracted data on patients, …

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  • Source of funding: Dutch Health Insurance Council.

  • For correspondence: Dr J Dekker, Netherlands Institute of Primary Health Care, PO Box 1568, 3500 BN Utrecht, the Netherlands. Fax +31 30 2729729.