Quality of osteoarthritis care in family medicine – A cross-sectional study

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Serbian Medical Association
Introduction Effective treatments for osteoarthritis are available, yet little is known about the quality of primary care in the Republic of Srpska for this disabling condition. Objective The main objective of this study was to analyze the overall quality of osteoarthritis treatment in a family medicine setting, as well as to explore whether the achievement of quality indicators was associated with particular patient characteristics and severity of osteoarthritis. Methods The cross-sectional study included 120 patients with confirmed hand, knee, and hip osteoarthritis, recruited at seven family practices in the town of Ugljevik, Republic of Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Data were extracted from a patient questionnaire on quality indicators, as well as from their electronic and paper records, to assess care against 14 indicators. The included quality indicators were based on the Arthritis Foundation’s Quality Indicator set for Osteoarthritis. Summary achievement rates for hip, knee, or hand osteoarthritis, as well as for the total sample, were calculated. Results The mean achievement rate for all 14 quality indicators obtained from medical records was 74%, and 77% obtained from patient interview. The quality indicators concerning referral for weight reduction (23%) and pharmacological treatment (24%) had the lowest achievement rates, whereas the highest achievement rates were related to physical examination (100%), pain and functional assessment (100%), and education (90.8%). Patients physical functioning was significantly associated with the quality indicator achievement rate (p = 0.001). Conclusion Pharmacological therapy and the referral of osteoarthritis patients in need of weight reduction seem to have the greatest potential for improvement in primary health care.
Кључне речи
osteoarthritis; quality of care; quality indicator; family medicine