Factors associated with physical therapy treatments of patients with knee osteoarthritis in Thailand

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ภาสกร สายสุริย์
ปราณีต เพ็ญศรี

บทคัดย่อ

Background: Most physical therapists (PTs) in developed countries use evidence-based physical therapy for patients with knee osteoarthritis (OA). Conversely, little is known concerning treatment used by Thai PTs in such patients.


Objective: To examine the relationship among characteristics of PTs, patients with knee OA, and type of physical therapy treatments.


Methods: This survey applied three sets of questionnaires to collect data. Questionnaire Set-A collected PTs’ information and experience in treating knee OA. Questionnaires Set-B collected patients’ information regarding history of knee OA, pain severity, disability, and function of knee (assessed by the modified Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Arthritis (WOMAC) Index). Questionnaire Set-C collected data on the physical  therapy methods. Each PT was required to collect the data of at least three consecutive patients with knee OA in the out-patient unit.  Logistic regression models were used to determine the relationship among PTs’ and patients’ characteristics and actual use of treatments including exercise, and patient education.


Result: Exercise (93.63%) was the most used treatment. Most PTs applied a combination of techniques to relieve pain and improve knee function. Exercise was associated with the total modified WOMAC score and patient’s BMI (p<0.05). Patient education was associated with the PTs’ short-course training of OA, patients with age less than 60 years, and abnormal BMI (p<0.05).


Conclusion: Most Thai PTs used exercise for treating knee OA which was in line with the clinical guidelines. Some patient characteristics influenced the PTs’ selection of treatment including patient’s age, BMI, pain, stiffness, and functions.

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