Evidence Summary (Updated 2022)
A Cochrane review from 2018 measured mental health outcomes of PA interventions using SF-36, HADS depression and anxiety scales and self-efficacy. Overall improvements were found in all outcomes in the PA group(3 ). The quality of the evidence varied from low to moderate according to GRADE. The HADS depression and anxiety scales showed 2.4% and 2% absolute improvement respectively, while the SF-36 had a 7.9% absolute improvement in social function domains(3).
An older review article with meta-analysis specifically looked into the association between physical activity and health related quality of life in those with OA (4 ). This identified a trend towards significance in the mental health component of the SF-36 questionnaire, although the result did not reach statistical significance. There is no evidence to suggest a negative effect of physical activity on mental health in people with OA.
Quality of evidence
B – Moderate quality
Strength of recommendation
1 – Strong
There is growing bodies of evidence to support improvements in mental health in those with osteoarthritis.
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