One-to-One Therapy Is Not Superior to Group or Home-Based Therapy After Total Knee Arthroplasty: A Randomized, Superiority Trial

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Background:The aim of this study was to determine whether center-based, one-to-one physical therapy provides superior outcomes compared with group-based therapy or a simple monitored home-based program in terms of functional and physical recovery and health-related quality of life after total knee arthroplasty.Methods:Patients awaiting primary total knee arthroplasty at two Sydney metropolitan hospitals were enrolled into this prospective, randomized, superiority trial preoperatively. At two weeks postoperatively, participants were randomly allocated to one of three six-week treatment programs (twelve one-to-one therapy sessions, twelve group-based therapy sessions, or a monitored home program) with use of a computer-generated sequence. Self-reported outcomes (Oxford Knee Score, Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index pain and function subscales, and Medical Outcomes Study 12-Item Short-Form Survey) and performance-based functional outcomes were measured over twelve months postoperatively by a blinded assessor. The primary outcome was knee pain and function measured with use of the Oxford Knee Score at ten weeks postoperatively. Intention-to-treat analysis was conducted.Results:Two hundred and forty-nine patients (eighty-five who had one-to-one therapy, eighty-four who had group-based therapy, and eighty who were in the monitored home program) were randomized and 233 were available for their one-year follow-up assessment. Participants who received one-to-one therapy did not have a superior Oxford Knee Score at week ten compared with those who received the alternative interventions; the median score was 32 points for the one-to-one therapy group, 36 points for the group-based therapy group, and 34 points for the monitored home program group (p = 0.20). Furthermore, one-to-one therapy was not superior compared with group-based therapy or monitored home program in improving any of the secondary outcomes across the first postoperative year. No adverse events were associated with any of the treatment arms.Conclusions:One-to-one therapy does not provide superior self-reported or performance-based outcomes compared with group-based therapy or a monitored home program, in the short term and the long term after total knee arthroplasty.Level of Evidence:Therapeutic Level I. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

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