Effect of psychological interventions on osteoarthritis patients

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Effect of psychological interventions on osteoarthritis patients

Pain associated with osteoarthritis (OA) is often uncertain and may vary from dull to intense. With pain, joint stiffness and other related problems also occur, causing depression and anxiety among the patients. This further worsens by lack of self-care and awareness about the disease and associated consequences. Now, the question is how the worsening of psychological health of OA patients can be improved? As an answer to this, researchers have come up with psychological interventions. These interventions are aimed to bring changes in psychological aspects including behavior, emotional state and feelings.

To explore this, Zhang L, et al., conducted a study to determine the impact of psychological interventions on physiological health of OA patients. The study started with a systematic literature search which was done by using scientific search engines like PsycINFO, Web of Science, China National Knowledge Infrastructure, PubMed, Embase and Wanfang Database. The studies which used a randomized controlled trial to analyze psychological interventions in OA patients were included in the research. The methodological quality and meta-analysis of the trials was also done. The methodological quality was assessed by two independent authors by using Jadad scale and Meta-analysis by Revman 5.0.

Out of various studied trials, 12 randomized controlled trials, involving 1307 patients, met the criteria. The meta-analysis showed that psychological interventions could reduce fatigue (p= 0.04) and levels of pain (p= 0.005). Together with, these significantly rehabilitated self-efficacy (P-value 0.00) and pain coping (p=0.05). On the other hand, there were no statically significant results evaluated in case of depression, physical function, psychological disability and anxiety.

The whole study brings to a conclusion that role of psychological interventions in improving physiological health among OA patients remains ambiguous. Some positive results were seen in the case of self-efficacy, pain coping, levels of pain and fatigue. However, future large scale randomized controlled trials are necessary to answer other unsolved concerns.


Psychol Health Med. 2017 Jan 31:1-17

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The original title of the article:

Effects of psychological interventions for patients with osteoarthritis: a systematic review and meta-analysis


Zhang L; Fu T et al.

Therapeutic, Osteoarthritis, Knee joints, Systematic review and Meta-analysis
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