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Objective: To examine changes in physical activity, sleep, pain, and mood in people with knee osteoarthritis during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic by leveraging an ongoing randomized clinical trial. Methods: Participants enrolled in a 12-month parallel two-arm randomized clinical trial (NCT03064139) interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic wore an activity monitor (Fitbit Charge 3) and filled out custom weekly surveys rating knee pain, mood, and sleep as part of the study. Data from 30 weeks of the parent study were used for this analysis. Daily step count and sleep duration were extracted from activity monitor data, and participants self-reported knee pain, positive mood, and negative mood via surveys. Metrics were averaged within each participant and then across all participants for prepandemic, stay-at-home, and reopening periods, reflecting the phased reopening in the state of Massachusetts. Results: Data from 28 participants showed small changes with inconclusive clinical significance during the stay-at-home and reopening periods compared with prepandemic for all outcomes. Summary statistics suggested substantial variability across participants with some participants showing persistent declines in physical activity during the observation period. Conclusion: Effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on physical activity, sleep, pain, and mood were variable across individuals with osteoarthritis. Specific reasons for this variability could not be determined. Identifying factors that could affect individuals with knee osteoarthritis who may exhibit reduced physical activity and/or worse symptoms during major lifestyle changes (such as the ongoing pandemic) is important for providing targeted health-care services and management advice toward those that could benefit from it the most.
Rose (email@example.com) is corresponding author, https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5400-2461