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Factors That Explain Disability in Patients with Hip Osteoarthritis

Hip osteoarthritis (OA) is a common cause of disability among older adults. With the aging population around the world, research is focused on ways to prevent and respond to this condition. In this study, scientists from Finland examine the social and physical factors that are linked with low physical and social function in patients with OA.

General health status, activities of daily life, and quality of life were measured in patients with hip OA. All measures were self-reported through the use of questionnaires.

This included body functions and effects of personal factors such as age, sex, education, sports activities, and mood (e.g., depression). Measurements such as joint range of motion and muscle strength were recorded by a group of physical therapists.

The results showed there are many factors that arise from hip OA that put the patient at risk for disability. No one single factor was more predictive than any others. Specific factors that were linked with disability included personal factors, educational level, and life satisfaction. Body mass index (BMI), other health problems, and duration of pain were related to disability.

Factors linked with disability and pain in hip OA should be taken into consideration when planning prevention and treatment strategies for these patients. The authors also suggested that tests such as the Timed-Up-And-Go test, hip range of motion, and the Six-Minute-Walk-Test (6MWT) are better measures of function than X-rays showing the severity of hip OA.


Riikka Juhakoski, MD, et al. Factors Affecting Self-Reported Pain and Physical Function in Patients With Hip Osteoarthritis. In Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. June 2008. Vol. 89. No. 6. Pp. 1066-1073.

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