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Background: Patient organisations may be an under-utilised resource in follow-up of patients requiring long-term exercise as part of their disease management. The purpose of this study was to explore the feasibility of a web-based exercise program delivered by a patient organisation to patients with hip and/or knee osteoarthritis (OA). Methods: In this pre–post feasibility study, patients aged 40–80 years with hip and/or knee OA were recruited from Diakonhjemmet Hospital. The 12-week intervention was delivered through a patient organisation’s digital platform. Feasibility was evaluated by proportion of eligible patients enrolled, proportion of enrolled patients who provided valid accelerometer data at baseline, and proportion completing the cardiorespiratory exercise test according to protocol at baseline and completed follow-up assessments. Patient acceptability was evaluated for website usability, satisfaction with the initial exercise level and comprehensibility of the exercise program. Change in clinical outcomes were assessed for physical activity, cardiorespiratory fitness and patient-reported variables. Results: In total, 49 eligible patients were identified and 35 were enrolled. Thirty (86%) of these attended baseline assessments and provided valid accelerometer data and 18 (51%) completed the maximal cardiorespiratory exercise test according to protocol. Twenty-two (63%) patients completed the follow-up questionnaire, and they rated the website usability as ‘acceptable’ [median 77.5 out of 100 (IQR 56.9, 85.6)], 19 (86%) reported that the initial exercise level was ‘just right’ and 18 (82%) that the exercise program was ‘very easy’ or ’quite easy’ to comprehend. Improvement in both moderate to vigorous physical activity (mean change 16.4 min/day; 95% CI 6.9 to 25.9) and cardiorespiratory fitness, VO2peak (mean change 1.83 ml/kg/min; 95% CI 0.29 to 3.36) were found in a subgroup of 8 patients completing these tests. Across all patient-reported outcomes 24–52% of the patients had a meaningful improvement (n = 22). Conclusion: A web-based exercise program delivered by a patient organisation was found to be feasible and acceptable in patients with hip and/or knee OA. Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT04084834 (registered 10 September 2019). The Regional Committee for Medical and Health Research Ethics south-east, 2018/2198. URL: Prosjekt #632074 - Aktiv med web-basert støtte. - Cristin (registered 7 June 2019).
Joseph, K. L., Dagfinrud, H., Hagen, K. B., Nordén, K. R., Fongen, C., Wold, O. M., … Tveter, A. T. (2022). The AktiWeb study: feasibility of a web-based exercise program delivered by a patient organisation to patients with hip and/or knee osteoarthritis. Pilot and Feasibility Studies, 8(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s40814-022-01110-3