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Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2013 Dec;65(12):2051-5. doi: 10.1002/acr.22073.

"Somebody to say 'come on we can sort this'": a qualitative study of primary care consultation among older adults with symptomatic foot osteoarthritis.

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  • 1Arthritis Research UK Primary Care Centre, Research Institute for Primary Care & Health Sciences, Keele University, Staffordshire, UK.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To examine the experiences of primary care consultation among older adults with symptomatic foot osteoarthritis (OA).

METHODS:

Eleven participants (6 women and 5 men) ages 56-80 years who had radiographically confirmed symptomatic foot OA and consulted a general practitioner in the last 12 months for foot pain were purposively sampled. Semistructured interviews explored the nature of the foot problem, help-seeking behaviors, and consultation experiences. Verbatim transcripts were analyzed using interpretative phenomenological analysis.

RESULTS:

The decision to consult a physician was often the outcome of a complex process influenced by quantitative and qualitative changes in symptoms, difficulty maintaining day-to-day roles and responsibilities and the effect this had on family and work colleagues, and a reluctance to present a fragile or aging self to the outside world. Self-management was commonly negotiated alongside multimorbidities. Upon seeking help, participants often believed they received limited information, they were given a brief or even cursory assessment, and that treatment was focused on the prescription of analgesic drugs.

CONCLUSION:

This is the first qualitative study of primary care experiences among patients with symptomatic foot OA. The experience of primary care seldom appeared to move beyond a label of arthritis and an unwelcome emphasis on pharmacologic treatment.

© 2013 The Authors. Arthritis Care & Research is published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of the American College of Rheumatology.

PMID:
23861315
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC4225467
Free PMC Article
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