Non-surgical care in patients with hip or knee osteoarthritis is modestly consistent with a stepped care strategy after its implementation

AJ Smink, Sita Bierma - Zeinstra, HJ Schers, BA Swierstra, JH Kortland, JWJ Bijlsma, S Teerenstra, TB Voorn, J Dekker, TPMV Vlieland, CHM van den Ende

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To improve the management of hip or knee osteoarthritis (OA), a stepped care strategy (SCS) has been developed that presents the optimal sequence for care in three steps. This study evaluates the extent to which clinical practice is consistent with the strategy after implementation and identifies determinants of SCS-consistent care. A 2-year observational prospective cohort study. General practices in the region of Nijmegen in the Netherlands. Three hundred and thirteen patients with hip or knee OA and their general practitioner (GP). Multifaceted interventions were developed to implement the strategy. Consistency between clinical practice and the strategy was examined regarding three aspects of care: (i) timing of radiological assessment, (ii) sequence of non-surgical treatment options and (iii) making follow-up appointments. Out of the 212 patients who reported to have had an X-ray, 92 (44%) received it in line with the SCS. The sequence of treatment was inconsistent with the SCS in 58% of the patients, which was mainly caused by the underuse of lifestyle advice and dietary therapy. In 57% of the consultations, the patient reported to have been advised to make a follow-up appointment. No determinants that influenced all three aspects of care were identified. Consistency with the SCS was found in about half of the patients for each of the three aspects of care. Health care can be further optimized by encouraging GP s to use X-rays more appropriately and to make more use of lifestyle advice, dietary therapy and follow-up appointments.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)490-498
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal for Quality in Health Care
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Research programs

  • EMC NIHES-02-67-01

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