BackgroundOsteoarthritis (OA) is a chronic, debilitating, and degenerative joint disease. However, it is difficult for patients with knee OA to access conventional rehabilitation when discharging from the hospital. Internet-based rehabilitation is one of the promising telemedicine strategies to provide a means combining monitoring, guidance, and treatment for patients with knee OA. ObjectiveThe aim of this study was to conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis for assessing the effect of internet-based rehabilitation programs on pain and physical function in patients with knee OA. MethodsKeywords related to knee OA and internet-based rehabilitation were systematically searched in the Web of Science, MEDLINE, EMBASE, CENTRAL, Scopus, PEDro (Physiotherapy Evidence Database), CNKI, SinoMed, and WANFANG databases from January 2000 to April 2020. Only randomized controlled trials were included. The authors independently screened the literature. The main outcome measures were focused on pain and physical function. A meta-analysis was performed on the collected data. Review Manager (RevMan, version 5.3) was used for all analyses. ResultsThe systematic review identified 6 randomized controlled trials, 4 of which were included in the meta-analysis, comprising a total of 791 patients with knee OA. The meta-analysis with the fixed-effects model showed that the internet-based rehabilitation programs could significantly alleviate the osteoarthritic pain for patients compared with conventional rehabilitation (standardized mean difference [SMD] –0.21, 95% CI −0.4 to –0.01, P=.04). No significant difference was found in the improvement of physical function in patients with knee OA compared with conventional rehabilitation within 2 to 12 months (SMD –0.08, 95% CI −0.27 to 0.12, P=.43). ConclusionsThis systematic review shows that internet-based rehabilitation programs could improve the pain but not physical function for patients with knee OA. However, there was a very small number of studies that could be included in the review and meta-analysis. Thus, further studies with large sample sizes are warranted to promote the effectiveness of internet-based rehabilitation and to develop its personalized design.