Developing a tailored exercise programme for people aged over 80 with hip and knee osteoarthritis


Lead applicant – Dr Phillipa Nicolson

Organisation – University of Oxford

Type of grant – Foundation fellowship 2019

Status of grant – Active

Amount of the original award – £249.685.00

Start date – 01 June 2020

Reference – 22428

Public Summary

What are the aims of this research?

This research aims to develop and test an exercise programme tailored towards people aged over 80 with hip or knee osteoarthritis. The exercise programme will reflect the challenges associated with exercise in this age group, delivering an exercise programme suitable for individual ability.

Why is this research important?

Hip and knee OA can be disabling and are increasingly common with older age. Evidence-based guidelines recommend strength and/or aerobic exercise for all people with hip or knee osteoarthritis to relieve pain and improve function of the joint. However much of the research is based on studies with people aged 60-70, so findings may not be directly applicable to the over 80s group, who may have less muscle strength, mobility difficulties, and are more likely to have other health conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, all of which that can make exercise difficult. The exercise programme will therefore be tailored to account for this and ensure they can exercise safely and effectively.

The research will involve reviewing the delivery and effectiveness of other exercise programmes in over 80s, analysing what obstacles people face to exercising in this age group and understanding the views and needs of both people with arthritis and clinicians. The researchers will then conduct a feasibility study to test if the programme is suitable and effective.

How will the findings benefit patients?

The exercise programme will be developed with the input of people over 80 who have osteoarthritis, so that their needs are considered. If the feasibility study shows the programme is suitable for this age group and has a positive impact, this could be the beginning of a tailored exercise programme to help relieve pain and improve joint function in hip and knee osteoarthritis. If this initial study shows promise, researchers will then look to carry out a larger clinical study to test the programme’s suitability and cost effectiveness compared to normal clinical care.