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Aust J Prim Health. 2014;20(3):305-10. doi: 10.1071/PY13064.

Health professional consultation and use of conservative management strategies in patients with knee or hip osteoarthritis awaiting orthopaedic consultation.

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Royal Newcastle Centre, Locked Bag 664J, Newcastle, NSW 2300, Australia.
Newcastle Bone and Joint Institute, Locked Bag 664J, Newcastle, NSW 2300, Australia.


The aim of this study was to determine the extent to which patients with hip and knee osteoarthritis (OA) referred for orthopaedic consultation at a large Australian public hospital reported using conservative management strategies as recommended by current practice guidelines. A therapist-assisted questionnaire was employed within the context of a standard physiotherapy assessment in a consecutive cohort of patients with hip or knee OA. Two hundred and two patients with hip or knee OA comprised the included sample. Thirty-nine percent (n=79) reported having only previously consulted their general practitioner. Only 20% (n=41) felt that they had been sufficiently educated about the diagnosis, their treatment options and prognosis. Thirty-three percent (n=66) had not previously engaged in any non-pharmacological management strategy considered a core clinical practice guideline recommendation. The findings of this study suggest that several inconsistencies may exist between current Australian clinical practice and OA clinical guideline recommendations. Identification of the barriers to the use of conservative management requires timely investigation coupled with a national implementation framework to support the translation of guideline recommendations into practice.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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