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Systematic Review of Guidelines for the Physical Management of Osteoarthritis

Published:November 04, 2013DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apmr.2013.10.011

      Abstract

      Objective

      To undertake a systematic critical appraisal of guidelines to provide a summary of recommendations for the physical management of osteoarthritis (OA).

      Data Sources

      The Cochrane Library, MEDLINE, CINAHL, SPORTDiscus with Full Text, Scopus, ScienceDirect, PEDro, and Google Scholar databases were searched (2000–2013) to identify all guidelines, protocols, and recommendations for the management or treatment of OA. In addition, Internet searches of all relevant arthritis organizations were undertaken. All searches were performed between July 2012 and end of April 2013. Guidelines that included only pharmacological, injection therapy, or surgical interventions were excluded. Guidelines published only in English were retrieved.

      Study Selection

      OA guidelines developed from evidence-based research, consensus, and/or expert opinion were retrieved. There were no restrictions on severity or site of OA, sex, or age. Nineteen guidelines were identified for evaluation.

      Data Extraction

      The quality of all guidelines was critically appraised using the Appraisal of Guidelines for REsearch and Evaluation II instrument. Each guideline was independently reviewed. All relevant recommendations for the physical management of OA were synthesized, graded, and ranked according to available evidence.

      Data Synthesis

      Seventeen guidelines with recommendations on the physical management of OA met the inclusion criteria and underwent a full critical appraisal. There were variations in the interventions, levels of evidence, and strength of recommendations across the guidelines. Forty different interventions were identified. Recommendations were graded from “strongly recommended” to “unsupported.” Exercise and education were found to be strongly recommended by most guidelines.

      Conclusions

      Exercise and education were key recommendations supporting the importance of rehabilitation in the physical management of OA. This critical appraisal can assist health care providers who are involved in the management of people with OA.

      Keywords

      List of abbreviations:

      AGREE II (Appraisal of Guidelines for REsearch and Evaluation II), LOE (level of evidence), MA (meta-analysis), NICE (National Institute of Clinical Excellence), OA (osteoarthritis), RCT (randomized controlled trial), SOR (strength of recommendation)
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