First-line intervention for hip or knee osteoarthritis (OA) may reduce pain whether delivered in-person or digitally, according to a study published online Nov. 3 in JAMA Network Open.
Therese Jönsson, Ph.D., from Lund University in Sweden, and colleagues compared mean pain reduction among individuals with OA of the knee or hip who underwent face-to-face versus digital first-line intervention (education and exercise). Analysis included 6,946 patients receiving first-line treatment in primary care (61 percent face-to-face treatment and 39 percent digital treatment) between April 1, 2018, and Dec. 31, 2019.
The researchers found that both the face-to-face (mean change, −1.10 points) and digital interventions (mean change, −1.87 points) resulted in a clinically important pain reduction at three months, with participants in the digitally delivered intervention experiencing a larger estimated improvement at three months (adjusted mean difference, −0.93 points).
“In this study, first-line interventions for knee and hip osteoarthritis over three months were associated with clinically relevant improvements in pain, whether delivered face-to-face or digitally,” the authors write. “We suggest that first-line OA interventions should be offered both digitally and face-to-face and that persons with knee and hip OA should be able to choose the mode of treatment delivery they prefer to reach as many persons with OA as possible.”
One author disclosed receiving consulting fees from Arthro Therapeutics.