Evidence-based physiotherapeutic management for knee osteoarthritis: A knowledge translation study

Dandees, Husam (2012-03)

Thesis (MScPhysio)--Stellenbosch University, 2012.


Background: Evidence for the effectiveness of physiotherapeutic interventions in the management of knee osteoarthritis (OA) is synthesised in the current clinical guidelines (CGs), providing clinicians with readily accessible and interpretable practice guidelines. However, CGs are often not specific to the local context of the target users, therefore hindering successful implementation of evidence into clinical practice. Formulating succinct and composite recommendations by synthesising the current CGs reporting on the evidence-based (EB) management of knee OA may assure contextual relevance and facilitate implementation of evidence into clinical practice. In addition, multifaceted interventions, such as evidence-based practice (EBP) workshops, are also postulated to promote the implementation of guideline recommendations, thereby enhancing clinical outcomes. Objectives: The primary objectives of this study were to: 1) describe the range of EB physiotherapeutic interventions in the management of knee OA as documented in the current CGs; and 2) develop composite clinical recommendations for a specific group of users working in Jerusalem. A secondary study objective was to ascertain the effect of translating the knowledge through a specifically-designed EBP workshop on the uptake of knowledge and implementation of EBP into clinical practice by physiotherapists working in Jerusalem. The EBP workshop was aimed at educating physiotherapists about the EB physiotherapeutic techniques for knee OA management. Study design: Two studies were conducted. A systematic review (SR) into EB clinical guidelines was conducted to describe and synthesise the available evidence and formulate composite recommendations for knee OA. The results of the SR were used to design an EBP workshop aimed at educating physiotherapists about EB physiotherapeutic techniques for treating knee OA patients. A pre-post quasi-experimental design was then conducted to assess the effect of this EBP workshop on the uptake and implementation of EBP into clinical practice amongst public sector physiotherapists working in Jerusalem. Methodology for quasi experimental study: Physiotherapists who regularly treat knee OA patients were recruited from a list of members registered with the Palestinian Physiotherapy Association Jerusalem. A three-month retrospective audit (initial audit) of knee OA patients’ physiotherapy records kept by the participating physiotherapists was conducted to establish current management patterns. EB strategies for knee OA was presented to the participating physiotherapists during a one-day workshop. A second audit of physiotherapy records was conducted three months after the EBP workshop to establish changes in the selection of physiotherapeutic management techniques for knee OA. Results: The initial audit revealed that the participating physiotherapists utilized one high EB modality namely, exercises, as a core management strategy in knee OA, but did not frequently implement other high EB modalities such as self-management and weight-loss programs. Following the EBP workshop, a statistically significant increase (p=0.008) in the implementation of weight-loss and self-management strategies in the management of knee OA was noted. Conversely, a statistically significant decrease was noticed in using patellar taping (low EB modality) in the management of knee OA (p=0.04). No significant changes were noticed in the utilization of other physiotherapy modalities supported by weak or modest EB recommendations. Conclusion: The study concluded that physiotherapists inherently prescribed exercise as a core management strategy for knee OA. Modalities supported by modest levels of evidence were used as adjunct treatments. The EBP workshop facilitated the increased application of high EB modalities such as weight-loss and self-management programs. The results of this study illustrate that an EBP workshop may be effective in promoting the implementation of EB physiotherapeutic modalities in the management of knee OA. However, larger studies with longer follow-up periods are required.

No Afrikaans abstract available

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/20161
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