Wearable sensors to predict improvement following an exercise intervention in patients with knee osteoarthritis Academic Article uri icon

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  • BACKGROUND: Muscle strengthening exercises consistently demonstrate improvements in the pain and function of adults with knee osteoarthritis, but individual response rates can vary greatly. Identifying individuals who are more likely to respond is important in developing more efficient rehabilitation programs for knee osteoarthritis. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to determine if pre-intervention multi-sensor accelerometer data (e.g., back, thigh, shank, foot accelerometers) and patient reported outcome measures (e.g., pain, symptoms, function, quality of life) can retrospectively predict post-intervention response to a 6-week hip strengthening exercise intervention in a knee OA cohort. METHODS: Thirty-nine adults with knee osteoarthritis completed a 6-week hip strengthening exercise intervention and were sub-grouped as Non-Responders, Low-Responders, or High-Responders following the intervention based on their change in patient reported outcome measures. Pre-intervention multi-sensor accelerometer data recorded at the back, thigh, shank, and foot and Knee Injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score subscale data were used as potential predictors of response in a discriminant analysis of principal components. RESULTS: The thigh was the single best placement for classifying responder sub-groups (74.4%). Overall, the best combination of sensors was the back, thigh, and shank (81.7%), but a simplified two sensor solution using the back and thigh was not significantly different (80.0%; p = 0.27). CONCLUSIONS: While three sensors were best able to identify responders, a simplified two sensor array at the back and thigh may be the most ideal configuration to provide clinicians with an efficient and relatively unobtrusive way to use to optimize treatment.


  • Kobsar, Dylan
  • Osis, Sean T
  • Boyd, Jeffrey E
  • Hettinga, Blayne A
  • Ferber, Reed

publication date

  • December 2017