PLE2NO self-management and exercise program for knee osteoarthritis


  • Starting date01-03- 2015
  • Institutions: Faculdade de Motricidade Humana and Portuguese League Against Rheumatic Diseases.
  • Funding: Pierre Fabre Médicament
  • Principal investigator: Margarida Espanha

The PLE2NO program is 12-week self-management and exercise intervention (SMEG) in the community for elderly individuals with knee osteoarthritis. The purpose of this randomized controlled trial (RCT) (US National Institutes of Health, NCT02562833) was to investigate whether this program resulted in greater improvement of knee symptoms, health behaviors, physical fitness, and quality of life than an education program (EG).

Recruitment was conducted in the community using various marketing strategies. Individuals with 60 years or more, bilateral or unilateral KOA diagnosed according to clinical and radiological criteria of the ACR (1) and independently mobile and literate participated in the program.

Regarding the health-related physical fitness component, functional lower limb strength and aerobic capacity showed improvements with a group effect. Clinical improvements in pain (31%) and knee osteoarthritis symptoms (29%) were observed in the experimental group.

Clinical Messages: (1) In elderly people with knee osteoarthritis, a combined self-management and exercise intervention ensures high adherence and compliance; (2) Strength training with strict protocol and providing minimum load increments, benefits participants with all degrees of knee osteoarthritis.


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