Table 2: Extracted study characteristics and outcome concepts.

First Author and Year





Outcome Concepts

Bennell, et al. (2016) [27]


Departments of Physiotherapy, University of Melbourne, and University of Queensland.

To investigate whether a 12-week physical therapist–delivered combined Pain Coping Skills Training (PCST) and exercise (PCST/exercise) is more efficacious and cost effective than either treatment alone for knee Osteoarthritis (OA).

Knee osteoarthritis (OA)

Pain, physical function, Quality of life, physical performance.

Blangsted, et al. (2017) [45]


Office environment.

Evaluates the effect of two different worksite physical-activity interventions on neck-shoulder symptoms, together with perceived work ability and sick leave among office workers.

Neck and shoulder pain

Pain, workability.

Bleakley, et al. (2010) [46]


Accident and emergency department and University based sports injury clinic.

To compare an accelerated intervention incorporating early therapeutic exercise after acute ankle sprains with a standard protection, rest, ice, compression, and elevation intervention.

Ankle sprain

Function, pain, swelling, physical activity, self-reported function, range of movement, strength, mechanical stability, postural stability, single leg hop test.

Chan, et al. (2011) [35]


Physiotherapy outpatient dept.

Examine the effect of adding aerobic exercise to conventional physiotherapy treatment for patients with chronic low back pain (LBP) in reducing pain and disability.

Low back pain

Pain, functional disability, physical fitness.

Cortés Godoy, et al. (2014) [28]


Home care and adult day care centre patients in Madrid.

Compare the effectiveness of massage therapy as a co-adjuvant treatment for Knee OA.

Knee OA

Pain, functionality, stiffness, agility, dynamic balance, and lower limb strength.

Costa, et al. (2009) [37]


Outpatient physical therapy.

To investigate the efficacy of motor control exercise for people with chronic low back pain.

Low back pain

Pain, activity, activity limitation, overall measure of change.

De Rooij, et al. (2016) [30]


Secondary outpatient physiotherapy clinic.

To evaluate the efficacy on physical functioning and safety of tailored exercise therapy in patients with knee osteoarthritis (OA) and comorbidities.

Knee OA

Physical functioning, pain, Physical activity, fatigue, psychological functioning, frailty, global perceived effect, knee-specific variables.

Farr, et al. (2010) [29]


University campus setting, with certified physical trainers.

To determine the effect of a structured RT intervention on overall levels of moderate and vigorous intensity physical activity (MVPA) in patients with early-onset knee OA.

Knee OA

Anthropometric measures, pain, physical activity, Leisure time PA and exercise habits.

French, et al. (2013) [43]


Four academic teaching hospitals in Dublin, Ireland, physiotherapy clinics.

To determine the effectiveness of exercise therapy (ET) compared with ET with adjunctive manual therapy (MT) for people with hip osteoarthritis (OA); and to identify if immediate commencement of treatment (ET or ET & MT) was more beneficial than a 9-week waiting period for either intervention.

Hip OA

Physical function, Active hip range of motion (ROM), pain, pain medication usage, general health status, psychological wellbeing, patient satisfaction, walking distance.

Gusi, et al. (2008) [49]


Forest tracks or public park, with qualified exercise leaders.

To assess the cost utility of adding to the standard “best care” a supervised walking programme that also included strengthening and stretching exercises.

Depression, overweight or obese with MSKD

Health related QOL, anxiety, depression, health care costs.

Harrison, et al. (2005) [41]


Leisure centre with exercise officer.

To assess the effectiveness of a primary care referral scheme on increasing physical activity at 1 year from referral.

Sedentary people with MSKD

Physical activity, satisfaction with and demand for information.

Haxby Abbott, et al. (2015) [31]

New Zealand

Outpatient Physiotherapy and Orthopaedics Departments - Dunedin Hospital.

(1) Investigate the effects of manual therapy combined with exercise therapy, compared with exercise therapy alone in improving pain, disability, and physical function.

(2) Compare the effects of delivering the physical therapy intervention using periodic booster sessions versus not using booster sessions in improving pain, disability, and physical function at 1-year follow-up.

Knee OA

Pain, stiffness, and physical function.

Hurley, et al. (2015) [36]


Participating hospital physiotherapy clinics.

The primary objective was to determine the difference between groups in mean change in functional disability at 6 months after randomization. Secondary objectives were to:

1. Determine the difference between groups in mean changes in pain, health-related quality of life, psychosocial beliefs, days of sick leave, daily PA levels, exercise self-efficacy, readiness to change, patient satisfaction.

2. Determine the difference between groups in cost- effectiveness and cost utility of the alternative treatment programmes.

3. Determine the difference between groups in the level of adherence to each intervention.

4. Complete a qualitative exploration of participants’ experience of each intervention.

Chronic low back pain

Functional disability, pain, health-related quality of life, psychosocial beliefs, self-reported PA, self-efficacy, stage of exercise behaviour change, patient satisfaction.

Jakobsen, et al. (2014) [39]


Patients on a surgical waiting list in a hospital, seen in physiotherapy clinic.

The main objective of this study was to conduct 7 weeks of supervised, well-described physical rehabilitation with a physiotherapist present and compared with the same regime without a physiotherapist present.

Post Total knee replacement

Functional performance, isometric knee strength, leg press power, pain, effusion, ROM, Self-reported function and quality of life, prosthetic migration, inflammatory response.

Johansson, et al. (2009) [47]


Orthopaedic clinics and physiotherapy clinics.

To compare clinic- based physiotherapy with a behavioural approach to a home-based training programme.

Post primary lumbar disc surgery

Back pain related disability, the level of physical training and possible walking distance, kinesiophobia, coping, pain, Generic health-related quality of life, patient satisfaction, Therapies given by other caregivers.

Jorge, et al. (2015) [32]


Physiotherapy clinics.

To determine the effect of a progressive resistance exercise (PRE) program on women with osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee.

Knee OA

Pain, function, Quality of life, function, strength, Global improvement, side effects, walking distance.

Juhakoski, et al. (2011) [44]


An outpatient physiotherapy primary care setting.

To evaluate the short- and long-term effectiveness of exercise training in people with hip osteoarthritis.

Hip OA

Pain, physical function, performance-based outcome scores, adherence.

Liebs, et al. (2012) [38]


Hydrotherapy pool and physiotherapy department.

To evaluate if the timing of aquatic therapy influences clinical outcomes after total knee arthroplasty (TKA) or total hip arthroplasty (THA).

Post total knee of hip replacement

Physical function, leg specific stiffness and pain, patient satisfaction, quality of life.

Lim, et al. (2010) [33]

South Korea

Outpatient clinic at Seoul National University Bundang Hospital.

To design and test the effectiveness of an aquatic exercise (AQE) and land-based exercise (LBE) program to enhance knee function and reduce body fat in patients with obesity and knee OA.

Knee OA

Body fat composition, pain, physical function, and quality of life.

Mannerkorpi, et al. (2010) [50]


The study was conducted in parks and forests led by physical therapists or trained exercise leaders.

The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of moderate-to-high intensity Nordic walking (NW) on functional capacity and pain in fibromyalgia (FM).


Health status, function, activity limitation, walking distance, the rate of perceived exertion, blood pressure, Physical activity, anxiety, depression, muscle tenderness, local pain score, fatigue.

Marzetti, et al. (2014) [48]


Outpatient clinic of Geriatrics and Physiatrics, University Hospital by physiotherapists.

To compare the effects of neurocognitive therapeutic exercise, based on proprioception and neuromuscular control with traditional therapeutic exercise in patients with shoulder impingement syndrome.

Shoulder impingement syndrome

Physical ability, symptoms of Upper extremity, ROM, pain, strength, physical ability in daily living tasks, patient satisfaction.

Mau-Moeller, et al. (2014) [40]


Hospital Setting, physiotherapy clinics.

This clinical study was conducted to compare the effectiveness of two in-hospital range of motion (ROM) exercise programs following total knee arthroplasty (TKA).

Post total knee replacement

ROM, static postural control, physical activity, pain, length of hospital stay, clinical, functional, and quality-of-life outcomes.

Murphy, et al. (2010) [42]

UK (Wales)

Sports centre with exercise specialist.

Evaluate effectiveness of the Welsh national exercise referral scheme. Process evaluation considering interventions delivery and economic evaluation.

Sedentary people with MSKD

Physical activity, anxiety and depression, health utility, health related QOL, health status, motivation to exercise, self-efficacy, social support, programme attendance, programme implementation fidelity.

Thackeray, et al (2010) [51]


Spine clinics and physical therapy clinics.

This study was a preliminary investigation of the effectiveness of Nerve root block injection, with or without subsequent physical therapy, in people with low back pain and sciatica.

Lumbar radicular pain

ROM, Neurologic assessment, pain, disability, fear avoidance, perception of the degree of change in their condition from the beginning of treatment.

Knoop, et al. (2012) [34]


Outpatient rehabilitation centre.

To investigate whether an exercise program, initially focusing on knee stabilization and subsequently on muscle strength and performance of daily activities is more effective than an exercise program focusing on muscle strength and performance of daily activities only, in reducing activity limitations in patients with knee osteoarthritis (OA) and instability of the knee joint.

Knee OA

Activity limitation, pain, global perceived effect, self-reported knee joint instability, adverse events, therapists assessed patient-perceived training intensity, adherence, physical activity.