7 ways to improve osteoarthritis care

A government agency has published a set of clinical standards which it says can be used by all clinicians to support the delivery of high-quality care for people living with knee osteoarthritis.

According to the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Healthcare (ACSQHC) the set of 7 osteoarthritis of the knee clinical standards  were developed because the management  of people with OA in Australia was ‘episodic’ and often fell short of best practice.

“In the NSW Osteoarthritis Chronic Care program, almost 70% of participants on the waiting list for knee replacement surgery had no conservative management except for medication,” the report said.

The standards recommend that arthroscopy and imaging are not needed in most cases, knee replacement should be considered a last resort, and all patients should be encouraged to exercise and lose weight.

Professor Rachelle Buchbinder, a member of the Osteoarthritis Clinical Care Standard Topic Working Group which developed the standards, said that although clinicians were likely to be familiar with most of the recommendations it was important they were communicated to patients.

“It’s really important to understand what the patient knows and what their expectations are, and to correct misconceptions right at the beginning,” she told the limbic.

“Patients think that they should get an MRI and they have no idea that arthroscopy is no better than placebo… and they’re not being told that,” she said.


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