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J Multidiscip Healthc. 2016 Aug 22;9:387-94. doi: 10.2147/JMDH.S110751. eCollection 2016.

Australians with osteoarthritis: satisfaction with health care providers and the perceived helpfulness of treatments and information sources.

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School of Psychology, Social Work and Social Policy.
School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of South Australia, Adelaide, SA, Australia.



The aim of this study was to evaluate the satisfaction of Australian patients who suffer from osteoarthritis (OA) with their health care providers and the perceived helpfulness of treatments and information sources.


A self-administered questionnaire was conducted with a sample of 560 Australian patients who suffer from OA with questions about satisfaction with health care providers and the helpfulness of different treatment options and information sources. Logistic regression models were used to assess potential predictors of satisfaction. Thematic analysis was undertaken for attitudinal factors associated with satisfaction.


A total of 435 participants returned questionnaires (response rate 78%). Most respondents were highly satisfied with the care provided by their general practitioner (GP) (84%), communication with their GP (88%), time spent with their GP (84%), and their ability to talk freely with their GP about their medical problem (93%), but less satisfied with their ability to talk freely about associated emotional problems (77%). Satisfaction with pharmacists (80%), rheumatologists (76%), and orthopedic surgeons (72%) was high. Joint replacement surgery (91%), prescription anti-inflammatory medications (66%), aids and assistive devices (65%), intra-articular injections (63%), and prescription painkiller medications (62%) were perceived as effective treatments. Less highly rated treatments were exercise (48%), physiotherapy (43%), and complementary medicines (29%). A majority of patients were satisfied with the information to manage their OA (65%). From the multivariable logistic regression analysis, four GP satisfaction factors were found to be predictors of overall satisfaction with GP care: the amount of time that the GP spends with the patient (P=0.005), the information the GP provides about what to expect (P<0.001), the communication between patient and GP (P=0.001), and the information that the GP provides about medications (P=0.042).


The study showed that although patients with OA were generally satisfied with their health care providers, there was notable variation in the perceived helpfulness of therapeutic options. The importance to patients of having access to good quality information about their condition was emphasized.


attitudes; beliefs; multidisciplinary care; patient preference

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