Functional capacity of people with early osteoarthritis: a comparison between subjects from the cohort hip and cohort knee (CHECK) and healthy ageing workers

H J Bieleman, Miriam van Ittersum, J W Groothoff, J C M Oostveen, F G J Oosterveld, Cees van der Schans, R Soer, M F Reneman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


OBJECTIVE: The prevalence of osteoarthritis (OA) increases, but the impact of the disorder on peoples' functional capacity is not known. Therefore, the objective of this study was to compare self-reported health status and functional capacity of subjects with early OA of hip and/or knee to reference data of healthy working subjects and to assess whether this capacity is sufficient to meet physical job demands.

METHODS: Self-reported health status and functional capacity of 93 subjects from the Cohort Hip and Cohort Knee (CHECK) were measured using the Short-Form 36 Health Survey and 6 tests of the Work Well Systems Functional Capacity Evaluation. Results were compared with reference data from 275 healthy workers, using t-tests. To compare the functional capacity with job demands, the proportions of subjects with OA performing lower than the p(5) of reference data were calculated.

RESULTS: Compared to healthy workers, the subjects (mean age 56) from CHECK at baseline reported a significantly worse physical health status, whereas the women (n = 78) also reported a worse mental health status. On the FCE female OA subjects performed significantly lower than their healthy working counterparts on all 6 tests. Male OA subjects performed lower than male workers on 3 tests. A substantial proportion of women demonstrated functional capacities that could be considered insufficient to perform jobs with low physical demands.

CONCLUSIONS: Functional capacity and self-reported health of subjects with early OA of the hips and knees were worse compared to healthy ageing workers. A substantial proportion of female subjects did not meet physical job demands.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)913-921
JournalInternational archives of occupational and environmental health
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2010



  • aged
  • aging
  • cohort studies
  • disability evaluation
  • female
  • health status
  • humans
  • lifting
  • male
  • middle aged
  • hip
  • knee
  • sickness impact profile
  • work
  • work capacity evaluation
  • comparative study
  • research support, non-U.S. Gov't
  • osteoarthritis

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