Saturday, 22 June 2013

A new model to portray the personal and societal burden ofosteoarthritis

Rachelle BuchbinderRachelle Buchbinder (Head of Clinical Epidemiology at our Cabrini site)  has developed a new conceptual model designed to examine the debilitating effects of osteoarthritis on sufferers, and the follow on effects to the wider community.

Within this model the researchers identified a range of personal and societal burdens of osteoarthritis: physical distress, fatigue, physical limitations, psychosocial distress, physical deconditioning, financial hardship, sleep disturbances and lost productivity.

Within these individual impacts the researchers found interdependent links between the burdens. Increased physical pain and loss of function led to increased psychological distress, reduced work productivity, financial difficulties and loss of individual physical fitness, and increased health and welfare cost to society.

The burdens were elucidated from patient and clinician focus groups and were then statistically examined to produce the concept map of the disease. This was in turn used to design a new questionnaire to test the burden of osteoarthritis.  This research provides new insights into the burdens of osteoarthritis and could be used as a means of more effectively managing the disease.

(‘A grounded patient-centered approach approach generated the Personal and Scoietal Burden of Osteoarthritis model’:  Busija, L., Buchbinder, R., Osborne, R.H.: Journal of Clinical Epidemiology; DOI: 10.1016/j.jclinepi.2013.03.012.)

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