The objective of this study was to evaluate whether exercise treatment based on behavioural graded activity comprising booster sessions is a cost-effective treatment for patients with osteoarthritis of the hip and/or knee compared with usual care. An economic evaluation from a societal perspective was carried out alongside a randomised trial involving 200 patients with osteoarthritis of the hip and/or knee. Outcome measures were pain, physical functioning, self-perceived change and quality of life, assessed at baseline, 13, 39 and 65 weeks. 97 patients received behavioural graded activity, and 103 patients received usual care. At 65 weeks, no differences were found between the two groups in improvement with respect to baseline on any of the outcome measures. The authors conclude that this study provides no evidence that behavioural graded activity is either more effective or less costly than usual care. Yielding similar results to usual care, behavioural graded activity seems an acceptable method for treating patients with osteoarthritis of the hip and/or knee.
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, 2007; 66:215-221