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In this section:

- - Barriers to evidence uptake
- - IRIS
- - CQI
Policy Liaison Initiative
Other Projects
- - Self-management of Osteoarthritis
- - Volume Surgery
- - Cardiovascular Disease Risk
- - Overview of OA Guidelines

Descriptive overview of osteoarthritis guidelines

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a degenerative joint disease and is one of the ten most disabling diseases in developed countries (1). Self report data suggests that 15% of Australians suffer arthritis and much of this burden is osteoarthritis (2). A major cause of pain, disability and health care use in the middle aged and elderly population, the costs associated with ongoing care of OA patients in terms of medications, days lost from work, and cost of long term care facilities, are high (3).  There is no known cure for OA, however there is an abundance of evidence available to guide diagnosis and management, and many clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) exist at the local, national and international level.

We have conducted a comprehensive descriptive overview and critical appraisal of CPGs for diagnosis and management of OA of the hip and/or knee identified through a comprehensive search. This descriptive overview was conducted within a larger study funded by a grant from the Commonwealth Government Arthritis and Musculoskeletal conditions Quality Improvement Program to inform the evaluation of a Breakthrough Series collaborative methodology to promote best practice in management of OA of the hip and/or knee in Victorian general practices (4). One outcome of this study was the key messages table (link below), which was informed by this overview and comprised a summary of CPG recommendations.

We aim to inform future CPG development approaches in OA that consider the time and resource intensive nature.of the CPG development process.

  1. World Health Organization. Chronic diseases and health promotion: Chronic rheumatic conditions (website).
  2. 1995 National health survey. Canberra: Australian Bureau of Statistics, 1996.
  3. Maetzel, A, Li, LC, Pencharz, J, et al. The economic burden associated with osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and hypertension: a comparative study. Annals of Rheumatic Disease. 2004;63(4):395-401.
  4. Jones, K, Piterman, L. Promoting best practice in general practitioner management of osteoarthritis of the hip and knee: Arthritis and musculoskeletal quality improvement pilot program. Australian Journal of Primary Health. 2007;13(2):56-64.

Key messages table
Click here to open the key messages table.


Click here to open the references to Table 2 in Misso et al. MJA 2008


marie.misso@monash.edu; phone: 03 9594 7534.


Last updated: 3 September, 2010
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