Movement behaviour patterns in patients with hip and/or knee osteoarthritis in the physical therapy setting: a cross-sectional study

Anne Maria Sjoerdtje de Hoop, Corelien Jacoba Johanna Kloek, Martijn Frits Pisters, Cindy Veenhof

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BACKGROUND: Osteoarthritis is one of the most common chronic joint diseases, mostly affecting the knee or hip through pain, joint stiffness and decreased physical functioning in daily life. Regular physical activity (PA) can help preserve and improve physical functioning and reduce pain in patients with osteoarthritis. Interventions aiming to improve movement behaviour can be optimized by tailoring them to a patients' starting point; their current movement behaviour. Movement behaviour needs to be assessed in its full complexity, and therefore a multidimensional description is needed.

OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to identify subgroups based on movement behaviour patterns in patients with hip and/or knee osteoarthritis who are eligible for a PA intervention. Second, differences between subgroups regarding Body Mass Index, sex, age, physical functioning, comorbidities, fatigue and pain were determined between subgroups.

METHODS: Baseline data of the clinical trial 'e-Exercise Osteoarthritis', collected in Dutch primary care physical therapy practices were analysed. Movement behaviour was assessed with ActiGraph GT3X and GT3X+ accelerometers. Groups with similar patterns were identified using a hierarchical cluster analysis, including six clustering variables indicating total time in and distribution of PA and sedentary behaviours. Differences in clinical characteristics between groups were assessed via Kruskall Wallis and Chi2 tests.

RESULTS: Accelerometer data, including all daily activities during 3 to 5 subsequent days, of 182 patients (average age 63 years) with hip and/or knee osteoarthritis were analysed. Four patterns were identified: inactive & sedentary, prolonged sedentary, light active and active. Physical functioning was less impaired in the group with the active pattern compared to the inactive & sedentary pattern. The group with the prolonged sedentary pattern experienced lower levels of pain and fatigue and higher levels of physical functioning compared to the light active and compared to the inactive & sedentary.

CONCLUSIONS: Four subgroups with substantially different movement behaviour patterns and clinical characteristics can be identified in patients with osteoarthritis of the hip and/or knee. Knowledge about these subgroups can be used to personalize future movement behaviour interventions for this population.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: Dutch clinical trial registration number of e-Exercise Osteoarthritis: NTR4224 .

Original languageEnglish
Article number651
Pages (from-to)1-9
JournalBMC Musculoskeletal Disorders
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 6 Oct 2020


  • Movement behaviour
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Physical activity
  • Sedentary behaviour


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