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Effectiveness of text messages for decreasing inactive behaviour in patients with knee osteoarthritis: a pilot randomised controlled study

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Background: One of the big contributors to physical inactivity in the elderly population is osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee. Digital motivation seems to have a positive effect on individual physical inactivity level, but limited evidence exists on the effects of digital motivation on patients with knee OA.

Objective: To investigate if motivational text messages reduce time spent physically inactive in patients with knee OA.

Method: This study was designed as an unblinded pilot randomised controlled trial, randomising participants equally (1:1) to an intervention group (motivational text messages) or control group (no intervention). Participants were recruited from six physical therapy clinics in Denmark. Inclusion criteria were age ≥ 18, diagnosed with knee OA, owner of a smartphone or tablet, and participating or commencing participation in the GLA:D® program. The primary outcome was time spent physically inactive, measured with a tri-axial accelerometer mounted on the lateral side of the thigh. Data on OA symptoms were obtained using the Knee injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score (KOOS) questionnaire.

Results: A total of 49 participants were screened, and 38 participants were included and randomised to either the intervention group (n = 19) or the control group (n = 19). No statistically significant difference between the two groups was found in average change of time spent physically inactive (mean difference 13.2 min/day [95% CI - 41.0 to 67.3]; P = 0.63), time spent standing (mean difference 3.0 min/day [95% CI - 22.7 to 28.7]; P = 0.81), or time spent moving (mean difference - 20.4 min/day [95% CI - 63.0 to 22.3]; P = 0.34) nor was there any difference in change between the two groups on KOOS.

Conclusion: Motivational text messages have seemed to have no effect on overall time spent physically inactive.

Trial registration:, NCT03339011. Registered 9 November 2017.

TidsskriftPilot and Feasibility Studies
Sider (fra-til)112
StatusUdgivet - 2019

ID: 57977696