MONITOR-OA: Improving Physical Activity Using an Online Monitoring Tool: A New Model for Knee Osteoarthritis


Principal Investigator: Linda Li, Senior Research Scientist of Clinical Epidemiology, BSc(PT), MSc, PhD. Associate Professor, Department of Physical Therapy, University of British Columbia


Why do this research?

Monitor-OA-finalweb.208.dPhysical activity is an essential first-line treatment for patients with knee osteoarthritis. However, a recent study found only 13% met the activity recommendation of 150 minutes or more per week. MONITOR-OA is a program that uses activity trackers to help people with knee pain set goals to be more physically active safely and at their own pace.

The program will involve:
1. A group education session
2. The use of Fitbit Flex – a wireless physical activity tracking device
3. Online/telephone coaching by a registered physiotherapist

The primary goal of this study is to test the efficacy of this new program to improve physical activity and reduce sedentary time in patients with knee osteoarthritis.



When will final results be reported?

We anticipate the recruitment for the study to begin in November 2015. We expect the study to end in April 2017.



How will this study be conducted?

We will conduct this study with 60 people with knee osteoarthritis in British Columbia. Eligible participants will be randomly assigned to the Immediate Intervention Group or the Delayed Intervention Group.

The Immediate Intervention Group will attend a group education session, receive a Fitbit Flex activity tracker (allowed to keep at the end of the study), and also receive telephone/online counselling by a registered physiotherapist. During the study period, participants will complete online questionnaires and also wear a research-based accelerometer for 7 days at baseline, Months 2, 4, and 6.

Participants in the Delayed Intervention Group will wait 2 months to start the same intervention.



Additional Information:


Funding Agency: This study is funded by Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute


Charles Goldsmith, MSc, PhD
Adjunct Professor, Faculty of Health Sciences, Simon Fraser University
Adjunct Professor, Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, University of British Columbia

Lynne Feehan, BSc (PT), MSc, PhD
Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Physical Therapy, UBC
Lead, Clinical Research, Rehabilitation at Fraser Health

Gregory Noonan, PT
Physiotherapy Practice Coordinator and Resource Therapist, Mary Pack Arthritis Programs

Alison Hoens, BSc (PT), MSc
Clinical Professor, Department of Physical Therapy, UBC


Research Staff
Navi Grewal, Research Coordinator, Arthritis Research Canada
Joanna Ye, Research Assistant, Arthritis Research Canada
Juliane Chien, Research Assistant, Arthritis Research Canada

Jenny Leese, PhD Trainee, Arthritis Research Canada
Jasmina Geldman, Research Coordinator, Arthritis Research Canada
Clayon Hamilton, Postdoctoral Fellow, Arthritis Research Canada
Ju Young Yoo, Research Assistant, Arthritis Research Canada
Graham Macdonald, Research Assistant, Arthritis Research Canada
Bao Chau Tran, PhD Trainee, Arthritis Research Canada


Contact Person
If you would like to take part in this study or seek more information, please contact:

Navi Grewal: ngrewal@arthritisresearch.ca or by phone at 604-207-4053 or 1-844-707-4053




Li LC, Sayre EC, Xie H, Falck RS, Best JB, Liu-Ambrose T, Grewal N, Hoens AM, Noonan G, Feehan LM. Efficacy of a Community-Based Technology-Enabled Physical Activity Counseling Program for People With Knee Osteoarthritis: Proof-of-Concept Study. JMIR Publications. doi: 10.2196/jmir.8514. To access publication, click here.


Falck RS, Best JR, Li LC, Chan PCY, Feehan LM, Liu-Ambrose T. Can we improve cognitive function among adults with osteoarthritis by increasing moderate-to-vigorous physical activity and reducing sedentary behaviour? Secondary analysis of the MONITOR-OA study. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders. doi: 10.1186/s12891-018-2369-z. To access publication, click here.


Falck RS, Davis JC, Best JR, Chan PCY, Li LC, Wyrough AB, Bennet KJ, Backhouse D, Liu-Ambrose T. Effect of multimodal lifestyle intervention on sleep and cognitive function in older adults with probable mild cognitive impairment and poor sleep: a randomized clinical trial. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. (DOI: 10.3233/JAD-200383; E-pub ahead of print) 2020. To access publication, click here


Feehan LM, Geldman J, Sayre EC, Park C, Ezzat A, Yoo JY, Hamilton C, Li LC. Accuracy of Fitbit devices: a systematic review and narrative syntheses of quantitative data. JMIR mHealth & uHealth. (DOI: 10.2196/10527) 6(8):e10527, 2018. To access publication, click here

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