Evaluation of intermediate care for knee and hip osteoarthritis: a mixed-methods study

Ilgin G. Arslan*, Vincent M.I. Voorbrood, Saskia A.G. Stitzinger, Maarten Paul van de Kerkhove, Rianne M. Rozendaal, Marienke van Middelkoop, Patrick J.E. Bindels, Sita M.A. Bierma-Zeinstra, Dieuwke Schiphof

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: To evaluate intermediate care for knee and hip osteoarthritis (KHOA) in the general practice that incorporate specialist services into general practice to prevent unnecessary referrals to hospitals. Methods: We used a mixed methods approach including semi-structured interviews, patient experience questionnaires and data from medical records from three intermediate care projects. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with patients, general practitioners (GPs), orthopaedists and a healthcare manager in intermediate care. Satisfaction of patients who received intermediate care (n = 100) was collected using questionnaires. Referral data and healthcare consumption from medical records were collected retrospectively from KHOA patients before (n = 96) and after (n = 208) the implementation of intermediate care. Results: GPs and orthopaedists in intermediate care experienced more intensive collaboration compared to regular care. This led to a perceived increase in GPs’ knowledge enabling better selection of referrals to orthopaedics and less healthcare consumption. Orthopaedists felt a higher workload and limited access to diagnostic facilities. Patients were satisfied and experienced better access to specialists’ knowledge in a trusted environment compared to regular care. Referrals to physiotherapy increased significantly after the implementation of intermediate care (absolute difference = 15%; 95% CI = 7.19 to 22.8), but not significantly to orthopaedics (absolute difference = 5.9%; 95% CI = -6.18 to 17.9). Conclusions: Orthopaedists and GPs perceived the benefits of an intensified collaboration in intermediate care. Intermediate care may contribute to high quality of care through more physiotherapy referrals. Further research with longer follow-up is needed to confirm these findings and give more insight in referrals and healthcare consumption.

Original languageEnglish
Article number131
JournalBMC Family Practice
Volume22
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jun 2021

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