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Osteoarthritis year in review 2022: rehabilitation

Holden, Melanie; Nicolson, P.J.A.; Thomas, Martin; Corp, Nadia; Hinman, R.S.; Bennell, K.L.


P.J.A. Nicolson

R.S. Hinman

K.L. Bennell


This year in review presents key highlights from research relating to osteoarthritis (OA) rehabilitation published from the 1st April 2021 to the 18th March 2022. To identify studies for inclusion in the review, an electronic database search was carried out in Medline, Embase and CINAHLplus. Following screening, included studies were grouped according to their predominant topic area, including core OA rehabilitation treatments (education, exercise, weight loss), adjunctive treatments, novel and emerging treatments or research methods, and translation of rehabilitation evidence into practice. Studies of perceived high clinical importance, quality, or controversy in the field were selected for inclusion in the review. Headline findings include: the positive role of technology to support remote delivery of core OA rehabilitation treatments, the importance of delivering educational interventions alongside exercise, the clinical and cost-effectiveness of a stepped approach to exercise, controversy around the potential mechanisms of action of exercise, mixed findings regarding the use of splinting for thumb base OA, increasing research on blood flow restriction training as a potential new intervention for OA, and evidence that the beneficial effects from core OA treatments seen in randomised controlled trials can be seen when implemented in clinical practice. A consistent finding across several recently published systematic reviews is that randomised controlled trials testing OA rehabilitation interventions are often small, with some risk of bias. Whilst future research is warranted, it needs to be large scale and robust, to enable definitive answers to important remaining questions in the field of OA rehabilitation.


Holden, M., Nicolson, P., Thomas, M., Corp, N., Hinman, R., & Bennell, K. (2023). Osteoarthritis year in review 2022: rehabilitation. Osteoarthritis and Cartilage, 31(2), 177-186.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 6, 2022
Online Publication Date Oct 13, 2022
Publication Date 2023-02
Journal Osteoarthritis and Cartilage
Print ISSN 1063-4584
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 31
Issue 2
Pages 177-186
Keywords Osteoarthritis; Rehabilitation; Review; Non-pharmacological; Weight loss; Exercise; Education; Adjuncts; Implementation
Publisher URL