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Med J Aust. 2008 Nov 17;189(10 Suppl):S25-8.

The role of self-management in designing care for people with osteoarthritis of the hip and knee.

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Clinical Epidemiology and Health Service Evaluation Unit, Royal Melbourne Hospital, Melbourne, VIC, Australia.


Osteoarthritis of the hip and knee is an increasingly common condition that is managed principally with lifestyle behaviour changes. Osteoarthritis management can be complex, as it typically affects older patients with multiple comorbidities. There is evidence that opportunities exist to improve uptake of evidence-based recommendations for care, especially for non-pharmacological interventions. The National Chronic Disease Strategy (NCDS) defines key components of programs designed to meet the needs of people with chronic conditions; one component is patient self-management. NCDS principles have been effectively integrated into chronic disease management programs for other conditions, but there is limited evidence of effectiveness for osteoarthritis programs. A comprehensive osteoarthritis management model that reflects NCDS policy is needed. Barriers to implementing such a model include poor integration of decision support, a lack of national infrastructure, workforce constraints and limited funding.

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