Using the latest digital media technologies, a new website called OPEN (Osteoarthritis Physical Activity & Exercise Net) has been created to support sedentary people with knee osteoarthritis (OA) in becoming physically active.
For those already physically active, the latest science is encouraging. Physical activity has been shown to improve quality of life, reduce pain and have the potential to reduce joint damage. Yet, a recent survey conducted by the Arthritis Research Centre (ARC) of Canada found that only 1 in 4 people in British Columbia (BC) with mild OA symptoms met the recommended level of physical activity.
Created by Dr. Linda Li and her team, the OPEN program aims to help people with early knee OA to set exercise goals and stay on track safely. Features include a goal setting tool, tips on how to stay active, the latest information about OA management, and videos that address myths about OA.
Researchers are recruiting 250 people with knee pain in British Columbia to determine whether using OPEN can increase physical activity.
Participants will be divided randomly between 2 groups. The first group will gain access to OPEN over 6 months and receive a pamphlet on physical activity and other treatments for knee pain produced by The Arthritis Society. The second group will receive only the pamphlet. Researchers will then compare the proportion of participants in each group that meet the American College of Rheumatology‘s physical activity recommendation of 90 minutes or more of weekly physical activity.
If this province-wide clinical study finds OPEN to be effective, the program has the potential to help clinicians in motivating and educating people with knee OA to improve their health and mobility.
Sydney Brooks (Knowledge User)
James Pencharz (Knowledge User)