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Knee Osteoarthritis Rehabilitation: Maximizing Outcomes through the Integration of Home-Based and Center-Based Exercises

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The utilization of home-based exercise (HBE) programs presents an innovative and alternative approach to broadening the reach of rehabilitation services for individuals affected by knee osteoarthritis. This method is increasingly recognized as an effective strategy to mitigate the pressures faced by the healthcare system, providing a valuable option for patients who may have difficulty accessing traditional care settings.

To evaluate the comparative effectiveness of HBE versus center-based exercise (CBE) programs—and to investigate the potential benefits of combining these two approaches—a detailed study was undertaken. This research meticulously examined both patient-reported outcomes and objective performance measures in individuals diagnosed with knee osteoarthritis.

Assessing the Impact of Home-Based Versus Center-Based Rehabilitation on Knee Osteoarthritis

Key focal points of this investigation included assessments of self-reported pain levels, physical disability, and overall quality of life. Additionally, the secondary objectives of the study concentrated on quantifiable performance metrics, such as the capacity for walking, strength of the lower limb muscles, and balance capabilities.

To ensure a robust and thorough analysis, an extensive review of relevant literature across multiple databases was conducted, ultimately incorporating eleven trials that involved a total of 956 participants. The comparative analysis between HBE and CBE programs revealed no significant differences in the short-term impacts on pain levels, physical disability, walking abilities, and the strength of lower limb muscles. This suggests that, in terms of immediate outcomes, HBE can stand as a viable alternative to CBE for individuals with knee osteoarthritis.

Knee Osteoarthritis

The Combined Power of Home-Based Exercises and Center-Based Exercises

Notably, the study also highlighted that integrating HBE with CBE could potentially offer superior benefits over employing HBE in isolation. This integrative approach was specifically associated with enhanced outcomes in terms of reducing short-term pain and alleviating physical disability.

Drawing from the evidence gathered through this comprehensive study, it can be inferred that HBE, either as a standalone strategy or in conjunction with CBE, demonstrates effectiveness in addressing key challenges associated with knee osteoarthritis. This includes managing short-term pain, improving physical disability, enhancing walking ability, and bolstering lower limb muscle strength. Moreover, the synergy between HBE and CBE appears to amplify the overall success of the rehabilitation interventions, suggesting a promising avenue for optimizing care and support for individuals suffering from this condition.


Original article: Home-based vs center-based exercise on patient-reported and performance-based outcomes for knee osteoarthritis: a systematic review with meta-analysis. Front Public Health. 2024 Mar 14;12:1360824. doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2024.1360824. PMID: 38550325; PMCID: PMC10973546.

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