Introduction Knee osteoarthritis (OA) affects mostly older adults. The primary risk factor for knee OA is obesity. Knee OA significantly affects daily activities and causes joint pain. However, few studies have explored weight control in this group. Objectives To understand weight-control strategies, facilitators of and barriers toward weight control among older adults with knee OA who refused total knee arthroplasty (TKA). Methods Older outpatients (N=120) were recruited from the orthopedic clinics of three hospitals in northern Taiwan. Data were collected through individual in-depth interviews using a semi-structured interview guide and analyzed using thematic analysis and ATLAS.ti, version WIN 7.0. Results Among participants, only 25% had body weight in the normal range and 58.3% expressed they were controlling their weight. Their most common weight control strategies were to decrease the amount of food (98.6%) and to maintain daily activities (22.9%). Common facilitators of their weight control were desiring good health (37.5%), wanting to decrease knee load (30.8%), perceiving that they had gained weight (28.3%), wanting to look good (9.2%), and advice from healthcare providers (7.5%). Common barriers to weight control were perceiving that dietary control was challenging (19.2%), not overweight and not needing to control weight (18.3%), wanting to eat natural and not feeling the need to control weight (12.5%), and had tried before but in vain (5%). Conclusions Our findings provide information for healthcare providers to understand how weight control is perceived by older adults with knee OA and serve as a reference for developing weight-control programs.
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