Talk to the Veterans Crisis Line now
U.S. flag
An official website of the United States government

VA Health Systems Research

Go to the VA ORD website
Go to the QUERI website

HSR Citation Abstract

Search | Search by Center | Search by Source | Keywords in Title

Stepped Exercise Program for Patients With Knee Osteoarthritis : A Randomized Controlled Trial.

Allen KD, Woolson S, Hoenig HM, Bongiorni D, Byrd J, Caves K, Hall KS, Heiderscheit B, Hodges NJ, Huffman KM, Morey MC, Ramasunder S, Severson H, Van Houtven C, Abbate LM, Coffman CJ. Stepped Exercise Program for Patients With Knee Osteoarthritis : A Randomized Controlled Trial. Annals of internal medicine. 2021 Mar 1; 174(3):298-307.

Dimensions for VA is a web-based tool available to VA staff that enables detailed searches of published research and research projects.

If you have VA-Intranet access, click here for more information

VA staff not currently on the VA network can access Dimensions by registering for an account using their VA email address.
   Search Dimensions for VA for this citation
* Don't have VA-internal network access or a VA email address? Try searching the free-to-the-public version of Dimensions


BACKGROUND: Evidence-based models are needed to deliver exercise-related services for knee osteoarthritis efficiently and according to patient needs OBJECTIVE: To examine a stepped exercise program for patients with knee osteoarthritis (STEP-KOA). DESIGN: Randomized controlled trial. ( NCT02653768). SETTING: 2 U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs sites. PARTICIPANTS: 345 patients (mean age, 60 years; 15% female; 67% people of color) with symptomatic knee osteoarthritis. INTERVENTION: Participants were randomly assigned in a 2:1 ratio to STEP-KOA or an arthritis education (AE) control group, respectively. The STEP-KOA intervention began with 3 months of an internet-based exercise program (step 1). Participants who did not meet response criteria for improvement in pain and function after step 1 progressed to step 2, which involved 3 months of biweekly physical activity coaching calls. Participants who did not meet response criteria after step 2 went on to in-person physical therapy visits (step 3). The AE group received educational materials via mail every 2 weeks. MEASUREMENTS: Primary outcome was Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC) score. Scores for the STEP-KOA and AE groups at 9 months were compared by using linear mixed models. RESULTS: In the STEP-KOA group, 65% of participants (150 of 230) progressed to step 2 and 35% (81 of 230) to step 3. The estimated baseline WOMAC score for the full sample was 47.5 (95% CI, 45.7 to 49.2). At 9-month follow-up, the estimated mean WOMAC score was 6.8 points (CI, -10.5 to -3.2 points) lower in the STEP-KOA than the AE group, indicating greater improvement. LIMITATION: Participants were mostly male veterans, and follow-up was limited. CONCLUSION: Veterans in STEP-KOA reported modest improvements in knee osteoarthritis symptoms compared with the control group. The STEP-KOA strategy may be efficient for delivering exercise therapies for knee osteoarthritis. PRIMARY FUNDING SOURCE: Department of Veterans Affairs, Health Services Research and Development Service.

Questions about the HSR website? Email the Web Team

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.