Network Meta-Analysis of Various Nonpharmacological Interventions on Pain Relief in Older Adults with Osteoarthritis

Qi Zhang, Lufei Young, Feng Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


To compare the effectiveness of different nonpharmacological interventions on pain relief in older adults with osteoarthritis, literature databases, bibliographies, and other relevant sources were searched. No language limitations were applied. Thirty-two trials published from 1997 to 2017 were included in the systematic review and network meta-analyses. We included only randomized controlled trials and studies that evaluated the effects of nonpharmacological interventions on alleviating pain in elderly adults (age ≥60 yrs or mean age > 65 yrs) who experience osteoarthritis, irrespective of sex. In the network meta-analysis, resistance training was ranked as the most effective among all nonpharmacological interventions (surface under the cumulative ranking = 82.9%, standardized mean difference = 1.96, confidence interval =-1.39 to 5.31). In subgroup analyses, resistance training still ranked the most effective pain reduction intervention, followed by strengthening exercise and yoga. Among female subjects with intervention adherence rate more than 90%, the most effective intervention was yoga. Strengthening exercise was superior to all other forms of interventions when comparing long-term effect of selected interventions. Among older adults with osteoarthritis, resistance training can be considered a treatment option for pain relief. Yoga is an effective intervention strategy for female elderly, and strengthening exercise has a better long-term beneficial effect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)469-478
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2019


  • Network Meta-Analysis
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Physical Activity
  • Physiotherapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation


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