Patient education for patellofemoral pain: a systematic review Academic Article uri icon


  • Objective

    To evaluate the effect of education interventions compared with any type of comparator on managing patellofemoral pain (PFP).


    Intervention systematic review. PROSPERO identifier: CRD42018088671.

    Literature search

    MEDLINE, Embase, CINAHL, and Web of Science were searched for studies evaluating the effect of education on clinical and functional outcomes in people with PFP.

    Study selection criteria

    Two reviewers independently assessed studies for inclusion and quality. We included randomized controlled trials on PFP where at least 1 group received an education intervention (in isolation or in combination with other interventions).

    Data synthesis

    Available data were synthesized via meta-analysis where possible; data that were not appropriate for pooling were synthesized qualitatively. Interpretation was guided by the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation approach.


    Nine trials were identified. Low-credibility evidence indicated that health education material alone was inferior to exercise therapy for pain and function outcomes. Low- and very low-credibility evidence indicated that health professional-delivered education alone produced outcomes similar to those of exercise therapy combined with health professional-delivered education for pain and function, respectively.


    Health professional-delivered education may produce similar outcomes in pain and function compared to exercise therapy plus health professional-delivered education in people with PFP. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther 2020;50(7):388-396. Epub 29 Apr 2020. doi:10.2519/jospt.2020.9400.

publication date

  • July 1, 2020