Estimating the impact of lifestyle changes on treatment outcomes for people with knee osteoarthritis through system dynamics simulation modelling

Milda Masilionyte, Ian McLean, Oliver Harding, Mahdi Doostmohammadi

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With the increasing number of patients suffering from knee osteoarthritis, the UK National Health Service is considering introducing a new treatment option that would focus on lifestyle changes. This study aims to develop a novel model that could serve as a tool to estimate the impact of such an intervention on treatment outcomes. In collaboration with the Forth Valley Royal Hospital, Larbert, United Kingdom, the model was formulated as a system dynamics simulation model and was built using Insight Maker, a web-based modelling tool. To the best of our knowledge, this paper is the first to employ system dynamics to tackle this problem. The simulations were run for several confgurations to better understand the potential impact of advanced lifestyle treatment under various scenarios. The results for the most expected scenario suggest that introducing advanced lifestyle treatment would increase the average number of recovered patients by 4%, and reduce the average numbers of temporarily disabled, permanently disabled and deceased patients by 21%, 9% and 4%, respectively. The results also reveal that even with low advanced lifestyle treatment acceptance rates, the treatment outcomes could improve without any changes to current resources.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of the Operational Research Society
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 31 Jul 2020


  • knee osteoarthritis
  • lifestyle changes
  • patient education
  • system dynamics simulation
  • quality improvement

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