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Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews

High-intensity versus low-intensity physical activity or exercise in people with hip or knee osteoarthritis

Overview of attention for article published in Cochrane database of systematic reviews, October 2015
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  • In the top 25% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (93rd percentile)
  • Good Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (70th percentile)

Mentioned by

39 tweeters
4 Facebook pages
1 Wikipedia page


92 Dimensions

Readers on

547 Mendeley
1 CiteULike
High-intensity versus low-intensity physical activity or exercise in people with hip or knee osteoarthritis
Published in
Cochrane database of systematic reviews, October 2015
DOI 10.1002/14651858.cd010203.pub2
Pubmed ID

Jean-Philippe Regnaux, Marie-Martine Lefevre-Colau, Ludovic Trinquart, Christelle Nguyen, Isabelle Boutron, Lucie Brosseau, Philippe Ravaud


Exercise or physical activity is recommended for improving pain and functional status in people with knee or hip osteoarthritis. These are complex interventions whose effectiveness depends on one or more components that are often poorly identified. It has been suggested that health benefits may be greater with high-intensity rather than low-intensity exercise or physical activity. To determine the benefits and harms of high- versus low-intensity physical activity or exercise programs in people with hip or knee osteoarthritis. We searched the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL; issue 06, 2014), MEDLINE (194 8 to June 2014) , EMBASE (198 0 to June 2014), CINAHL (1982 to June 2014), PEDro (1929 to June 2014), SCOPUS (to June 2014) and the World Health Organization (WHO) International Clinical Registry Platform (to June 2014) for articles, without a language restriction. We also handsearched relevant conference proceedings, trials, and reference lists and contacted researchers and experts in the field to identify additional studies. We included randomized controlled trials of people with knee or hip osteoarthritis that compared high- versus low-intensity physical activity or exercise programs between the experimental and control group.High-intensity physical activity or exercise programs training had to refer to an increase in the overall amount of training time (frequency, duration, number of sessions) or the amount of work (strength, number of repetitions) or effort/energy expenditure (exertion, heart rate, effort). Two review authors independently assessed study eligibility and extracted data on trial details. We contacted authors for additional information if necessary. We assessed the quality of the body of evidence for these outcomes using the GRADE approach. We included reports for six studies of 656 participants that compared high- and low-intensity exercise programs; five studies exclusively recruited people with symptomatic knee osteoarthritis (620 participants), and one study exclusively recruited people with hip or knee osteoarthritis (36 participants). The majority of the participants were females (70%). No studies evaluated physical activity programs. We found the overall quality of evidence to be low to very low due to concerns about study limitations and imprecision (small number of studies, large confidence intervals) for the major outcomes using the GRADE approach. Most of the studies had an unclear or high risk of bias for several domains, and we judged five of the six studies to be at high risk for performance, detection, and attrition bias.Low-quality evidence indicated reduced pain on a 20-point Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Arthritis Index (WOMAC) pain scale (mean difference (MD) -0.84, 95% confidence interval (CI) -1.63 to -0.04; 4% absolute reduction, 95% CI -8% to 0%; number needed to treat for an additional beneficial outcome (NNTB) 11, 95% CI 14 to 22) and improved physical function on the 68-point WOMAC disability subscale (MD -2.65, 95% CI -5.29 to -0.01; 4% absolute reduction; NNTB 10, 95% CI 8 to 13) immediately at the end of the exercise programs (from 8 to 24 weeks). However, these results are unlikely to be of clinical importance. These small improvements did not continue at longer-term follow-up (up to 40 weeks after the end of the intervention). We are uncertain of the effect on quality of life, as only one study reported this outcome (0 to 200 scale; MD 4.3, 95% CI -6.5 to 15.2; 2% absolute reduction; very low level of evidence).Our subgroup analyses provided uncertain evidence as to whether increased exercise time (duration, number of sessions) and level of resistance (strength or effort) have an impact on the exercise program effects.Three studies reported withdrawals due to adverse events. The number of dropouts was small. Only one study systematically monitored adverse effects, but four studies reported some adverse effects related to knee pain associated with an exercise program. We are uncertain as to whether high intensity increases the number of adverse effects (Peto odds ratio 1.72, 95% CI 0.51 to 5.81; - 2% absolute risk reduction; very low level of evidence). None of the included studies reported serious adverse events. We found very low-quality to low-quality evidence for no important clinical benefit of high-intensity compared to low-intensity exercise programs in improving pain and physical function in the short term. There was insufficient evidence to determine the effect of different types of intensity of exercise programs.We are uncertain as to whether higher-intensity exercise programs may induce more harmful effects than those of lower intensity; this must be evaluated by further studies. Withdrawals due to adverse events were poorly monitored and not reported systematically in each group. We downgraded the evidence to low or very low because of the risk of bias, inconsistency, and imprecision.The small number of studies comparing high- and low-intensity exercise programs in osteoarthritis underscores the need for more studies investigating the dose-response relationship in exercise programs. In particular, further studies are needed to establish the minimal intensity of exercise programs needed for clinical effect and the highest intensity patients can tolerate. Larger studies should comply with the Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT) checklist and systematically report harms data to evaluate the potential impact of highest intensities of exercise programs in people with joint damage.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 39 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 547 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Italy 1 <1%
Australia 1 <1%
Brazil 1 <1%
United Kingdom 1 <1%
Canada 1 <1%
Unknown 542 99%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 116 21%
Student > Bachelor 85 16%
Student > Ph. D. Student 61 11%
Student > Doctoral Student 40 7%
Researcher 39 7%
Other 102 19%
Unknown 104 19%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 161 29%
Nursing and Health Professions 122 22%
Sports and Recreations 47 9%
Psychology 17 3%
Social Sciences 16 3%
Other 58 11%
Unknown 126 23%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 26. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 21 August 2019.
All research outputs
of 16,623,170 outputs
Outputs from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 11,545 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 287,794 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 252 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 16,623,170 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 94th percentile: it's in the top 10% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 11,545 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 24.4. This one has done well, scoring higher than 79% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 287,794 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 93% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 252 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 70% of its contemporaries.