Rowland W. Chang, MD, of Northwestern Medicine Rheumatology, is co-primary investigator on a recently awarded a grant from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health. The project will assess whether an action planning intervention supporting physical activity can increase and sustain physical activity in employees with chronic knee symptoms (CKS). This research could have a tremendous impact on improving symptoms and quality of life for those with CKS and early knee osteoarthritis.
Title: “Computer-guided Action Planning to Support Physical Activity (CAPPA) for Employees with Chronic Knee Symptoms”
Society needs effective non-operative therapies to manage chronic knee symptoms (CKS) resulting from knee osteoarthritis (KOA). Over 13 million U.S. adults 45 years and older have symptomatic KOA and CKS, one and one-third of working adults (45 to 64 years) have arthritis. Because CKS first presents in working-age adults, it is a major cause of work disability and work productivity loss.
Physical activity (PA) has been shown to relieve pain, improve function and prevent losses in independence in individuals across the KOA disease spectrum. Despite its value, PA levels remain low among adults with CKS and for adults in the workplace. Low PA is linked to high healthcare spending and losses in worker productivity, creating an incentive for employer-support PA initiatives. Many workplaces have embraced wellness programs to support employees in improving their health, however employees with CKS struggle with lower rates of PA than their peers without CKS. Previous research has found that Fitbit tracking can improve behavior for some with CKS but others benefit from more intensive forms of coaching. The exact amount of coaching needed remains unknown. Employee stakeholders have asked for low resource forms of coaching available through the workplace. The potential exists to support employees with CKS using an acceptable, low-resource coaching strategy.
The goal of this program is to test a brief, scalable PA coaching intervention that can assist employees with CKS attain and maintain healthy PA behavior in two worksites in the Midwest. CAPPA is a 12-week pilot randomized controlled trial that will:
CAPPA will put PA feedback in a Movement Dashboard to support study participants. The CAPPA intervention will use each participant’s preferred communication mode (text, voice call or video chat) to attain and sustain healthy PA behavior at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois and Advocate Aurora Health. Follow-up measures of PA, pain and physical function are planned at treatment completion and three months following study completion.
Specific aims are to:
Read more about this project >
Rowland W. Chang, MD, is a professor of Medicine (Rheumatology), Preventive Medicine (Epidemiology), and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Northwestern Medicine.
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