A randomized controlled trial of a combined self-management and exercise intervention for elderly people with osteoarthritis of the knee: the PLE2NO program

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid



To assess the effectiveness of a 12-week self-management and exercise intervention (the PLE2NO program) in elderly individuals with knee osteoarthritis.


Randomized controlled trial.


Four different community settings.


Eighty individuals aged 60 years or older with clinical and radiographic knee osteoarthritis enrolled in the study.


A combined self-management and exercise intervention (treatment group) and an educational intervention (control group).

Main measures:

The primary outcomes were pain and other knee osteoarthritis symptoms (swelling, crackling, limitation on movement, and stiffness), self-management behaviors (communication with physician and cognitive symptom management), and functional lower limb strength. Secondary outcomes were knee osteoarthritis–specific health-related quality of life, self-perceived health, aerobic capacity, lower and upper limb flexibility, and handgrip strength.


In all, 67 participants, mean age 69.1 ± 5.8 years, completed the study: 32 in the Educational Group and 35 in the Self-Management and Exercise Group. A significant group effect favorable to the Self-Management and Exercise Group was observed in the following variables: communication with the physicians (P = .048), aerobic capacity (P = .035), and functional lower limb strength (P = .015). Although no significant group effect was detected, clinical improvements in pain (31%) and knee osteoarthritis symptoms (29%) were observed in the experimental group. No improvements regarding cognitive symptom management, self-perceived health, lower limb flexibility, and handgrip strength were found.


This study supports the importance of a combined self-management and exercise intervention to improve functional lower limb strength and aerobic capacity in a Portuguese sample. Additionally, pain and other symptoms have improved clinically.

Related Topics

    loading  Loading Related Articles