Aging Clinical and Experimental Research

, Volume 30, Issue 4, pp 299–306 | Cite as

Determinants of physical functioning in women with knee osteoarthritis

  • Hakan Nur
  • Bilge Saruhan Sertkaya
  • Tiraje Tuncer
Original Article



Knee osteoarthritis (OA) is an important health problem with its high prevalence and association with pain and functional disability in physical tasks and activities especially in women.


To explore the impacts of widely seen demographic, pathological, psychological, and impairment factors on physical functioning in women with knee OA using the performance-based and self-reported measures.


One hundred and ten women with knee OA participated in this study. Performance-based measures included the 10-m walk test, timed up and go (TUG) test, and a stair test. Self-reported physical functioning was measured using the Western Ontario and McMasters Universities OA Index. Knee muscle strength, pain intensity, flexion range of motion (ROM), body mass index (BMI), radiographic severity, and anxious and depressive symptoms were measured. Age, disease duration, and comorbidities were recorded. Correlation and linear regression analyses were used to assess the associations.


In the linear regression models, knee muscle weakness, limited knee flexion ROM, pain intensity, and older age contributed to 65% of variance in physical performance measures mostly explained by knee muscle weakness. Knee pain intensity, BMI, anxiety, and knee muscle weakness contributed to 60% of variance in WOMAC physical function score mostly explained by pain. Radiologic severity, depression, comorbidities, and disease duration did not have a significant association (P < 0.05). Performance-based measures had significant but moderate correlations with WOMAC physical function score (r range 0.51–0.57, P < 0.05).


In women with knee OA, knee muscle strength was the main determinant of performance-based physical functioning together with knee flexion ROM, knee pain, and age. Knee pain was the main determinant of self-reported physical functioning. BMI, anxiety, and knee muscle strength had some contributions as well. Performance-based and self-reported measures had moderate relations and evaluate different aspects of physical functioning. In the management of women with knee OA strengthening of weak knee muscles, improving limited flexion ROM, pain management, weight loss, and improving anxiety should be considered as a priority and performance-based and self-reported measures should be used together for a comprehensive evaluation of physical functioning.


Knee osteoarthritis Women Muscle strength Range of motion Pain Anxiety 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest


The authors received no financial support for the research and/or authorship of this article.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hakan Nur
    • 1
  • Bilge Saruhan Sertkaya
    • 1
  • Tiraje Tuncer
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Faculty of MedicineAkdeniz UniversityAntalyaTurkey

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