Award Date

Spring 5-2014

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)


Physical Therapy

Advisor 1

Sue Schuerman

First Committee Member

Merrill Landers

Second Committee Member

Kai-Yu Ho

Number of Pages



Background and Purpose Osteoarthritis (OA) is a common symptomatic condition experienced by older adults, especially in the overweight population, that affects the knees in particular. This study compares the effectiveness of two progressive exercise protocols (walking and stepping) on function and quality of life in older, overweight women with OA. This study includes self-management training and assesses participant selfperceived efficacy in managing OA.

Subjects This is a quasi-experimental design utilizing 16 women ≥ 50 years of age (60.44 ± 6.04) with a BMI > 25 (34.21 ± 7.28) and radiographic diagnosis of OA in at least one knee.

Methods and Measures Subjects were randomly assigned to a protocol group and followed exercises twice per week with supervision and once per week independently during the 10-week study. Pre and post-tests were performed using NeuroCom Smart Equitest, Dualenergy X-ray Absorptiometry (DEXA) scan, pain visual analog scale, isometric strength, and self-reported outcome measures including; Knee Osteoarthritis Outcomes Score (KOOS), CDC HRQOL-14 “Healthy Days Measure” - Quality of Life (QOL), and the Patient Activity Measure (PAM).

Results The walking group showed significant improvement in the KOOS -QOL (p=0.026) and function (p=0.027) subscales as well as the NeuroCom Sensory Organization Test (SOT) (p=0.022). No significant results were found within the stepping group. Groups were combined and significant results were found in the KOOS- QOL (p=0.022), NeuroCom SOT (0.001), and NeuroCom Limits of Stability (LOS) (p=0.024).

Conclusion A simple 10 week walking exercise incorporating self-management is shown to improve function, quality of life, and balance. The stepping exercise did not show any significant improvement. However, when the 2 groups are combined, we observed similar improvement in the 3 aforementioned domains. The results from this research provide important insights into exercise intervention in older overweight women with knee OA.


Exercise Science; Movement and Mind-Body Therapies; Physical Therapy; Physiotherapy


Physical Therapy

File Format


File Size

1.041 Kb

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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