Changes in Self-Reported Disability after Performance-Based Tests in Obese and Non-Obese Individuals Diagnosed with Osteoarthritis of the Knee.
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PURPOSE: The purposes of this study are three-fold: (1) To examine whether the WOMAC questionnaire should be obtained before or after performance-based tests. (2) To assess whether self-reported disability scores before and after performance-based tests differ between obese and non-obese individuals. (3) To observe whether physical activity and BMI predict self-reported disability before and after performance based tests. METHODS: A longitudinal study included thirty one participants diagnosed with knee osteoarthritis (OA) using the Kellgren-Lawrence Scale by an orthopedic surgeon. RESULTS: All WOMAC scores were significantly higher after as compared to before the completion of performance-based tests. This pattern of results suggested that the WOMAC questionnaire should be administered to individuals with OA after performance-based tests. The obese OA was significantly different compared to the non-obese OA group on all WOMAC scores. Physical activity and BMI explained a significant proportion of variance of self-reported disability. CONCLUSION: Obese individuals with knee OA may over-estimate their ability to perform physical activities, and may under-estimate their level of disability compared to non-obese individuals with knee OA. In addition, self-reported physical activity seems to be a strong indicator of disability in individuals with knee OA, particularly for individuals with a sedentary life style. Implications for Rehabilitation Osteoarthritis is a progressive joint disabling condition that restricts physical function and participation in daily activities, particularity in elderly individuals. Obesity is a comorbidity commonly associated with osteoarthritis and it appears to increase self-reported disability in those diagnosed with osteoarthritis of the knee. In a relatively small sample, this study recommends that rehabilitation professionals obtain self-report questionnaires of disability after performance-based tests in obese individuals with osteoarthritis of the knee as they are more likely to give an accurate representation of their level of ability at this time