Last updated on July 2019

Effects of Action Observation Therapy on Pain Functional Level and Brain Hemodynamic in Patients With Knee Osteoarthritis


Brief description of study

In this project, investigators aim to investigate the effects of action observation therapy on pain, fear of movement, functional level and brain hemodynamics in patients with knee osteoarthritis. The study is unique in that this method, which has already been used for post-surgical or motor healing, aims at long-term administration for the first time with chronic pain and objective visualization of the results. This study will create a new perspective to understand the physiology of pain, which has attracted much interest in the literature in recent years, and will shed light on the studies that can be done in this regard. Participants' joint range of motion in the initial assessments will be measured by electro-goniometer, muscle strength assessment by JTech hand dynamometer at appropriate evaluation positions. In assessing pain, pain levels at rest and during activity will be questioned using Visual Analog Scale. Fear of movement of individuals will be assessed via Tampa Kinesiophobia Scale and functional levels will be assessed via Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC) and the Timed Up and Go Test. Functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) will be used for evaluation of brain hemodynamics. The first group, will receive exercises with action observation therapy; and the second group will receive only exercises. The exercise programme will be administered under physiotherapist supervision for three days a week for six weeks. The evaluations will be repeated at the beginning of the study and at the end of the sixth week. Data obtained from the study will be analyzed using appropriate statistical methods.

Detailed Study Description

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease associated with pain and disability that occurs in 25% of the population over 18 years of age Worldwide. It is expected that osteoarthritis will be the fourth most common cause of disability in the World by 2020. Osteoarthritic joint has pathological changes such as damage of joint cartilage tissue, thickening of the subchondral bone, osteophyte formation, inflammation of synovium at different levels, degeneration of ligaments and meniscal structures and hypertrophy of joint capsule. Pain is the most common symptom in osteoarthritic patients and the ongoing pain effects quality of life and physical functions of them negatively. At the same time, decrease in joint range of motion, muscle strength loss and decline in functional level may go along with pain. In recent years, studies that relate chronic pain to neuroplasticity have demonstrated changes in the structure, function and somatotopic organization of the primary motor and sensory cortex of osteoarthritis patients with chronic pain. In addition to this, osteoarthritis studies showed that the pain does not originate solely from joint problems; the central nervous system is also responsible for the formation of pain sensation. Changes in the cortical sensorimotor areas include sensory disturbances, perceptual problems (differentiation of body image), and motor influences, and these changes are associated with severity and duration of pain. It is reported that approaches targeting cortical reorganization resulted in decreased pain and increased function. Action observation therapy is a method which activates mirror neurons and is applied to learn a specific motor skill, facilitate motor learning and decrease the pain level of the extremities. It is anticipated that action observation therapy may differentiate perception of pain by altering cortical activity and thus altered motor cortical activity may play an active role in reducing pain by modulating pain-related neural networks.

In this project, investigators aim to investigate the effects of action observation therapy on pain, fear of movement, functional level and brain hemodynamics in patients with knee osteoarthritis. The study is unique in that this method, which has already been used for post-surgical or motor healing, aims at long-term administration for the first time with chronic pain and objective visualization of the results. This study will create a new perspective to understand the physiology of pain, which has attracted much interest in the literature in recent years, and will shed light on the studies that can be done in this regard. Participants' joint range of motion in the initial assessments will be measured by electro-goniometer, muscle strength assessment by JTech hand dynamometer at appropriate evaluation positions. In assessing pain, pain levels at rest and during activity will be questioned using Visual Analog Scale. Fear of movement of individuals will be assessed via Tampa Kinesiophobia Scale and functional levels will be assessed via Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC) and the Timed Up and Go Test. Functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) will be used for evaluation of brain hemodynamics. The first group, will receive exercises with action observation therapy; and the second group will receive only exercises. The exercise programme will be administered under physiotherapist supervision for three days a week for six weeks. The evaluations will be repeated at the beginning of the study and at the end of the sixth week. Data obtained from the study will be analyzed using appropriate statistical methods.

Clinical Study Identifier: NCT03245073

Recruitment Status: Closed


Brief Description Eligibility Contact Research Team


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