Introduction SOAR (Stop OsteoARthritis) is a virtual, physiotherapist-guided knee health program that aims to reduce osteoarthritis risk after sport-related knee trauma. This study qualitatively explored individuals’ experiences of the SOAR program.
Materials and Methods Individuals with varied lived experience of knee trauma completed a 4-week SOAR program consisting of 1) Knee Camp (interactive group education and 1:1 exercise and activity goal-setting); 2) weekly home-based exercise and activity program with tracking, and; 3) weekly 1:1 physiotherapy counselling. On completion, participants attended semi-structured 1:1 interviews responding to open-ended questions about their experiences. Content analysis was conducted.
Results 12 women and 4 men [median (range) age; 30 (19–46) years, 75% with past ACL tears] were interviewed. Most participants reported being satisfied with SOAR. Knee Camp and weekly 1:1 physiotherapy counselling were the components that most influenced participants’ exercise participation by promoting autonomy and accountability. Participants had mixed feelings about using an activity tracker (i.e., Fitbit) and exercise tracking app. Data analysis identified three main themes: 1) Regaining control of knee health; 2) Importance of social support 3) Program limitations and strengths. Suggestions to improve the program included: more opportunities to connect with other persons with knee trauma, and access to web-based resources beyond the study.
Conclusion Persons with a past sport-related knee trauma report the SOAR program as acceptable and relevant. Strategies that include education, promote therapeutic alliance and social support, and foster autonomy may be important methods for long-term management of osteoarthritis risk after knee trauma.
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