DOI: 10.1093/bjs/znad258.681 ISSN:

914 A Scoping Review of Studies Relating to Digital Healthcare Utilisation in Obese Patients Presenting with End Stage Hip and Knee Arthritis

M A Akhtar, H Hanif, C Blacklock
  • Surgery



Digital health technologies provide high-reach, low cost, readily accessible and scalable interventions for large patient populations that address time and resource constraints. Weight loss may reduce the risk of symptomatic lower limb osteoarthritis and may lead to the resolution of symptoms. Musculoskeletal-focused digital apps are increasingly being used for physical therapy and rehabilitation. The scoping review will yield evidence from a breadth of healthcare services about how obese patients with musculoskeletal problems can benefit from digital advances in health care delivery.


Search engines MEDLINE and CINAHL were used. We initially identified 109 papers from 2000 onwards. An inclusion criterion was added for terms relating to ‘osteoarthritis’, ‘obesity’, ‘weight/exercise interventions’ and ‘digital technology’ which yielded 11 studies, 6 of which were identified as being more specific to our scoping reviews’ aim.


Several papers study the role of tele-rehabilitation by using online digital platforms. Several commercially available devices have been studied in activity monitoring, the most common being the Fitbit. Mobile-phone apps have been studied to monitor activity. The review also identified recent trial protocols studying weight loss before total joint arthroplasty using a remote dietitian and mobile app along with positive psychology and healthy living skills to slow the progression of symptoms.


This review indicated that research on digital care is limited but that comprehensive digital care programmes can significantly improve functional outcomes in obese patients with end-stage arthritis and identified the motives for weight loss, strategies utilized during past weight loss attempts, and preferences for future weight loss programmes.

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