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American Journal of Nursing Research. 2019, 7(2), 148-159
DOI: 10.12691/ajnr-7-2-6
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Effect of Local Heat Application on Complaints of Patients with Moderate Knee Osteoarthritis

Hanan Gaber Mohamed1, and Mervat Abdel Fattah Mohamed2

1Medical Surgical Nursing Department, Faculty of Nursing, Banha University, Egypt

2Medical Surgical Nursing Department, Faculty of Nursing, Alexandria University, Egypt

Pub. Date: January 21, 2019

Cite this paper:
Hanan Gaber Mohamed and Mervat Abdel Fattah Mohamed. Effect of Local Heat Application on Complaints of Patients with Moderate Knee Osteoarthritis. American Journal of Nursing Research. 2019; 7(2):148-159. doi: 10.12691/ajnr-7-2-6


Background: Osteoarthritis (OA) brings discomfort and disability for around 10% of the total human population due to chronic joint pain. Heat therapy is a common pain management device and easy way to alleviate joints stiffness. This study aimed to evaluate the effect of local heat application on joint pain, stiffness, and physical function of patients with moderate knee OA. A quasi-experimental design was utilized. Setting: This study was conducted at the Outpatient Clinics related to the Orthopedic and Traumatology Hospital (El Hadara), Alexandria University, Egypt. Subject: a total of 52 patients with moderate knee OA were recruited as a convenience sample. They were enrolled into control and intervention groups (26 patients, each). Tools: four tools were utilized, Tool 1: to assess the severity of disease. Tool 2: Self reporting rating scales, to assess pain and tenderness pre and post heat applications. Tool 3: Western Ontario and McMaster (WOMAC) OA Index, which aims to determine the change(s) in daily function difficulties with pain, stiffness and physical function and Tool 4: Clinical physical assessment. Results: The results of the study showed high statistical significant differences in pain intensity and tenderness scores before and after applying hot compresses in the intervention group and also, between the control and intervention subjects regarding pain intensity and tenderness 4 weeks post heat applications. Statistical significant differences were found in control and intervention subjects post 4 weeks of intervention regarding scores of pain, joint stiffness, physical function disabilities, and all overall WOMAC. All studied subjects had body mass index score of > 27kg/m2. There were positive statistical significant correlations between pain intensity, tenderness, physical function, and Overall WOMAC scores and BMI in both control and intervention subjects (P≤ 0.05). Conclusion: local heat applications with moderately knee OA patients every other day decreased pain, stiffness and physical functional disability. Recommendations: additional randomized controlled trials are needed to evaluate long term heat application effects and follow up of patients with mild moderate and severe knee OA, are to be continued.

moderate knee osteoarthritis heat application pain stiffness physical function

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