Knee confidence as it relates to physical function outcome in persons with or at high risk of knee osteoarthritis in the osteoarthritis initiative

Carmelita J. Colbert, Jing Song, Dorothy Dunlop, Joan S. Chmiel, Karen W. Hayes, September Cahue, Kirsten C. Moisio, Alison H. Chang, Leena Sharma*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Objective To evaluate whether low knee confidence at baseline is associated with poor baseline-to-3-year physical function outcome in the Osteoarthritis Initiative. Methods Knee confidence was assessed using an item from the Knee Injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score instrument. Physical function was assessed using self-report measures (Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index [WOMAC] function score and Short Form 12 physical component scale) and performance-based measures (20-meter walk and chair stand test). Poor function outcome was defined as moving into a worse function group or remaining in the 2 worst function groups between baseline and 3 years. Logistic regression was used to evaluate the relationship between baseline knee confidence level and poor baseline-to-3-year function outcome, adjusting for potential confounders. Results The sample included 3,975 men and women with or at high risk of developing osteoarthritis of the knee, of whom 37-53% had poor baseline-to-3-year function outcome. For both self-report measures, increasingly worse knee confidence was associated with a greater risk of poor function outcome, and trend tests supported a graded response (e.g., the adjusted odds ratios [95% confidence intervals] for the WOMAC function score for worsening confidence categories were 1.26 [1.07-1.49], 1.43 [1.16-1.77], and 2.05 [1.49-2.82], P for trend <0.0001). Similar associations between confidence and performance-based function outcome were observed, but statistical significance did not persist in adjusted analyses. Factors independently associated with poor function outcome for all 4 outcome measures were depressive symptoms, comorbidity, body mass index, and joint space narrowing. Conclusion These findings indicate that worse knee confidence at baseline is independently associated with greater risk of poor function outcome by self-report measures, with evidence of a graded response; the relationship with performance measures is not significant in fully adjusted models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1437-1446
Number of pages10
JournalArthritis and rheumatism
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Rheumatology
  • Immunology


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