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Exercise and Physical Functioning in Osteoarthritis

Medical, Neuromuscular and Behavioral Perspectives

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1. Auflage, 2013

Osteoarthritis (OA) is among the top 10 of most disabling diseases in the Western world. It is the major cause of pain and disability among the elderly. This book provides a contextual review of recent research on neuromuscular factors and behavioral risk factors for functional decline in OA, with a special emphasis on explanatory mechanisms. In addition, the book discusses innovative approaches to exercise and physical activity in OA, derived from research on behavioral and neuromuscular risk factors for functional decline in OA. Recent research has shown that neuromuscular factors (such as muscle strength, joint laxity) and behavioral factors (such as avoidance of activity, depressed mood) predict pain and disability in OA. Furthermore, exercise and physical activity are among the dominant interventions aiming at reducing pain and disability, and innovative interventions targeting neuromuscular and behavioral interventions have been recently developed. This research has been published as separate papers, with the result that the field is in need of an integrative contextual review that puts the research into theoretical perspective.


Rehabilitation specialists, health psychologists, gerontologists, rheumatologists, pain specialists

Joost Dekker is professor of allied health care at the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine and at the Department of Psychiatry, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam (1997-present). His research focuses on behavioral factors in somatic disease. He is chair of the research theme 'Soma and psyche' of the research program 'Mental Health' at the Institute for Health Care Research (EMGO, Amsterdam). He is head of the Department of Rehabilitation Research at Reade Hospital, Amsterdam. Professor Dekker is a licensed health psychologist. He is editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Behavioral Medicine and is involved in international and national boards and committees, eg, International Society of Behavioral Medicine, Netherlands Health Council, Netherlands Behavioral Medicine Federation, and Royal Netherlands Society of Physiotherapy.

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