Monitoring osteoarthritis: a cross-sectional survey in general practice

Clarson, L.E., Nicholl, B.I. , Bishop, A., Edwards, J.J., Daniel, R. and Mallen, C.D. (2013) Monitoring osteoarthritis: a cross-sectional survey in general practice. Clinical Medicine Insights: Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Disorders, 6, pp. 85-91. (doi:10.4137/CMAMD.S12606)

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Abstract

Background Despite being a highly prevalent chronic condition managed predominantly in primary care and unlike other chronic conditions, osteoarthritis (OA) care is delivered on an ad hoc basis rather than through routine structured review. Evidence suggests current levels of OA care are suboptimal, but little is known about what general practitioners' (GPs) consider important in OA care, and, thus, the scope to improve inconsistency or poor practice is, at present, limited.

Objectives We investigated GPs' views on and practice of monitoring OA.

Methods This was a cross-sectional postal survey of 2500 practicing UK GPs randomly selected from the Binley's database. Respondents were asked if monitoring OA patients was important and how monitoring should be undertaken.

Results Responses were received from 768 GPs of whom 70.8% were male and 89.5% were principals within their practices. Despite 55.4% (n = 405) indicating monitoring patients with OA was important and 78.3% (n = 596) considering GPs the appropriate professionals to monitor OA, only 15.2% (n = 114) did so routinely, and 45% (n = 337) did not monitor any OA patients at all. In total, 61.4% (n = 463) reported that patients should self-monitor. Respondents favored monitoring physical function, pain, and analgesia use over monitoring measures of BMI, self management plans, and exercise advice.

Conclusions The majority of respondents felt that monitoring OA was important, but this was not reflected in their reported current practice. Much of what they favored for monitoring was in line with published guidance, suggesting provision of suboptimal care does not result from lack of knowledge and interventions to improve OA care must address barriers to GPs engaging in optimal care provision.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Nicholl, Dr Barbara
Authors: Clarson, L.E., Nicholl, B.I., Bishop, A., Edwards, J.J., Daniel, R., and Mallen, C.D.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > General Practice and Primary Care
Journal Name:Clinical Medicine Insights: Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Disorders
Publisher:Libertas Academica
ISSN:1179-5441
ISSN (Online):1179-5441
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2013 The Authors
First Published:First published in Clinical Medicine Insights: Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Disorders 6:85-91
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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