Physical activity levels in knee osteoarthritis patients during daily living
Human activity monitoring and detection is considered to be valuable in a clinical setting, with potential applications such providing feedback and evaluating the effectiveness of interventions. Knee osteoarthritis, which is associated with a degeneration of the knee cartilage, is a common disease with an expected lifetime prevalence of 45%. The osteoarthritic population is generally thought to elicit lower levels of physical activity. The decreased activity has mainly been established through the use of questionnaires and activity monitors, varying from activity classifications, e.g. step counts, to energy expenditure estimations. Recent progress in the capabilities of these activity monitors has provided the opportunity to examine the physical activity of the osteoarthritic population in more detail, i.e. to determine more discriminative movements, such as stairclimbing, cycling and more accurate posture detection during daily life.
The main outcome of my PhD project will be the physical activity during daily life in knee osteoarthritis patients. In addition, the functional capacity and perceived pain will be established in a laboratory setting. Such information might be valuable in evaluating the association between the functional capacity (‘What a person can perform’) and the actual physical activity during daily life (‘What a person actually performs’). Furthermore, a group of patients will be provided with an ankle-foot orthosis to determine the efficacy on physical activity levels during daily life (free-living environment) and on physical function and perceived pain (laboratory setting).
Detailed knowledge regarding physical activity, function and pain could be used as a reference for clinical institutions and may provide valuable information and feedback in examining the effectiveness of therapeutic interventions in knee osteoarthritis patients. In addition, the methodology and database could be transferred to or used as comparison with other pathologies.