Information and exercise are recommended treatments for patients with osteoarthritis. In the project "Digital osteoarthritis treatment", we want to investigate through a randomized controlled trial whether following an individually adapted exercise program on a mobile app is as effective as regular follow-up with a physiotherapist.
A mobile solution can help to increase the accessibility of treatment, as treatment can be provided regardless of geographical distance. Mobile solutions also provide greater freedom of choice for patients, as they can, for example, exercise whenever they want throughout the day and are not tied to an appointment with a therapist. It is hoped that the increased access and freedom of choice through the app will improve adherence to recommended exercise.
Part of the project is also to identify the characteristics of the patients who benefit most from using the app. This will help physiotherapists to better identify which patients are able to follow up their training through an app, and which patients are more in need of physical follow-up with a therapist.
Patients over 18 years of age with osteoarthritis of the hip and/or knee, who seek treatment at one of the participating physiotherapy institutes, can be included in the study. For an overview of which institutes are participating, please contact the PhD candidate.
Recruitment of participants for the study is ongoing.
All patients receive 1-2 hours of osteoarthritis education from a physiotherapist, including information on symptoms, disease development, exercise, self-help techniques and dietary advice. After education, patients are randomly assigned to either standard treatment, with follow-up twice a week for 6 weeks with a physiotherapist, or an app group, which receives an individually adapted 6-week training programme on the VirtualTraining app. Patients complete testing with a physiotherapist at the start and at the end of the 6-week follow-up. At the start, end and 12 weeks after completion, patients also answer a questionnaire that includes questions about pain, function, disease activity, physical activity level, quality of life, exercise adherence and health service and medicine consumption.