Measuring patient satisfaction with exercise therapy for knee osteoarthritis: evaluating the utility of the physiotherapy outpatient survey.

OBJECTIVES: To assess patient satisfaction with exercise for knee osteoarthritis (OA).

METHODS: A convenience sample of 27 patients recruited to a randomized controlled trial (RCT) comparing open kinetic chain and closed kinetic chain exercises for knee OA were reassessed at nine months post-randomization. Clinical outcomes included self-report and physical performance measures of function and pain severity. Patients also completed the Physiotherapy Outpatient Survey (POPS), which is a multi-dimensional measure of patient satisfaction with physiotherapy.

RESULTS: There was no significant difference in satisfaction between the two intervention groups. Overall mean satisfaction for the entire cohort was 4.07 of a maximum score of 5 (standard deviation (SD) = 0.52). Lower levels of satisfaction with outcome (mean = 3.56, SD = 0.8) were reported compared with other domains of expectations, communication, organization and the therapist (mean = 3.79-4.49; SDs = 0.42-0.92). Both intervention groups improved from baseline on clinical outcomes of pain, self-report function and walking distance, with no significant differences between the two groups.

CONCLUSIONS: High levels of satisfaction were reported in this subsample of knee OA patients participating in an RCT evaluating the effects of different exercise approaches for knee OA. Satisfaction varied depending on the satisfaction domain, with lower satisfaction with outcome compared with other aspects of care. The POPS questionnaire can be used to measure the multi-dimensional aspects of satisfaction with physiotherapy.