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Clinical practitioners not adhering to evidence-based guidelines for osteoarthritis
Date:1/4/2011

New research found clinicians who care for patients with osteoarthritis (OA) are likely not following standard care guidelines that are based on current medical evidence. Researchers noted physicians were prescribing medications for pain and inflammation, or opting for surgical interventions rather than recommending weight loss plans or exercise programs to OA patients. Details of the this study are available in the January 2011 issue of Arthritis Care & Research, a journal published by Wiley-Blackwell on behalf of the American College of Rheumatology.

A 2002 report by the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated OA to be the fourth leading cause of years lost due to disease (YLD) worldwide. OA disability is quickly becoming a major public health concern with experts suggesting that by 2020 the number of people with OA will have doubled due to growing obesity prevalence and the aging of the "baby boomer" generation. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), arthritis and other rheumatic conditions cost the U.S. $128 billion in 2003a 24% increase since 1997. Much of the cost burden in arthritis care can be attributed to OA which accounts for a large volume of surgical procedures including total joint replacements.

Dr. David Hunter from the University of Sydney in Australia and New England Baptist Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts and colleagues reviewed how standard clinical practice diverges from evidence-based recommendations in the management of OA. "We present a potential roadmap for optimizing the quality of OA healthcare for those developing and enforcing policy decisions, and for clinicians on the frontlines of OA management to enact practice change," commented Dr. Hunter.

Current clinical practice does not reflect recommendations based upon medical evidence. The authors report that therapeutic interventions are primarily aimed at reducing pain and improving joint function by using therapies t
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Contact: Dawn Peters
healthnews@wiley.com
781-388-8408
Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert

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