Interventions to increase adherence to therapeutic exercise in older adults with low back pain and/or hip/knee osteoarthritis: a systematic review and meta-analysis

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Abstract

Objective

To evaluate whether interventions aimed at increasing adherence to therapeutic exercise increase adherence greater than a contextually equivalent control among older adults with chronic low back pain and/or hip/knee osteoarthritis.

Design

A systematic review and meta-analysis.

Data sources

Five databases (MEDLINE (PubMed), CINAHL, SportDISCUS (EBSCO), Embase (Ovid) and Cochrane Library) were searched until 1 August 2016.

Eligibility criteria for selecting studies

Randomised controlled trials that isolated the effects of interventions aiming to improve adherence to therapeutic exercise among adults ≥45 years of age with chronic low back pain and/or hip/knee osteoarthritis were included.

Results

Of 3899 studies identified, nine studies (1045 participants) were eligible. Four studies, evaluating strategies that aimed to increase motivation or using behavioural graded exercise, reported significantly better exercise adherence (d=0.26–1.23). In contrast, behavioural counselling, action coping plans and/or audio/video exercise cues did not improve adherence significantly. Meta-analysis using a random effects model with the two studies evaluating booster sessions with a physiotherapist for people with osteoarthritis revealed a small to medium significant pooled effect in favour of booster sessions (standardised mean difference (SMD) 0.39, 95% CI 0.05 to 0.72, z=2.26, p=0.02, I2=35%).

Conclusions

Meta-analysis provides moderate-quality evidence that booster sessions with a physiotherapist assisted people with hip/knee osteoarthritis to better adhere to therapeutic exercise. Individual high-quality trials supported the use of motivational strategies in people with chronic low back pain and behavioural graded exercise in people with osteoarthritis to improve adherence to exercise.

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