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  1. Steinhilber, Benjamin PhD
  2. Haupt, Georg PT
  3. Miller, Regina
  4. Grau, Stefan PhD
  5. Janssen, Pia MD
  6. Krauss, Inga PhD


Background: Physical disability (PD) is common among patients with osteoarthritis (OA) of the hip. Exercise therapy is proposed to be a potential intervention to reduce PD. However, the optimal targets of an exercise program are not known.


Purpose: The aim of the present study was to identify factors that explain the level of self-reported PD in patients with hip OA. Knowledge of these factors will help develop specific and effective exercise programs.


Methods: Data from 149 patients with hip OA (85 men and 64 women) were analyzed. Self-reported PD was quantified using the physical function subscale of the Western Ontario and McMaster index. A stepwise regression analysis was conducted to identify significant factors associated with self-reported PD.


Results: Stiffness, pain, and hip muscle strength were found to be significant factors related to the level of self-reported PD in hip OA. These factors explained 59% (r2 adjusted = 0.59) of the variance. Body mass index, gender, age, and passive internal hip rotation and flexion range of motion explained only minor parts of the dependent variable self-reported PD.


Discussion and Conclusion: Stiffness, pain, and hip muscle strength are associated with self-reported PD in hip OA. It is imperative that exercise treatments for hip OA include strategies to modify these factors. Further research should evaluate their role in preventing hip OA.