Background In France, between 9 and 10 millions of persons suffer from symptoms of osteoarthritis (OA), ie. 17 % of the global population. This disease is the second cause of disability in our country and can be responsible for an important loss of quality of life.
In 2002, a socio-economical study(2) showed that, in the last ten years before the study, the number of persons suffering from OA progressed by 54 %, trigerring a 156 % increase in medical costs directly linked to OA. A more recent study established the cost of OA treatment to around 3 billions euros per year.
Paradoxically, the two public health objectives connected to OA and defined by the August 9, 2004 Law (objectives #085 and #087) have been left without action or evaluation. Overall, as a public health and medical cost challenge, OA has been largely ignored in our country.
Objectives To create a sense of urgency and challenge around this disease, AFLAR, the historical non-profit organization involved in the fight against OA and the only French patient organization dealing with this issue, decided to create the National Alliance against Osteoarthrosis.
Methods This National Alliance is composed of various professionnals and institutions involved in OA medical care : patient organizations, medical associations, healthcare professional boards. Starting on november 2011, these experts met and discussed to define National Alliance objectives as well as various actions to be developed.
Results National Alliance members agreed on the following objectives :
– To bring together all the professionals involved in OA care and to trigger a global mobilization around this underestimated public health issues
– To stimulate collective thinking around the challenges linked to OA care
– To develop awareness and visibility actions
– To disseminate prevention messages, especially regarding the role of physical activity
– To identify and relay the needs of people affected by OA
– To increase the involvement of local and national governing bodies
Four actions have been proposed to reach these objectives :
– To fight against misconceptions through educational messages dissemination
– To initiate a large online national survey
– To launch a web portal which will gather all AFLAR OA-related activities
– To develop a regional prevention project
Conclusions National Alliance against Osteoarthritis projects synergize efforts from each member’s expertise. Innovative through the diversity of its participants, this Alliance will undoubtedly contribute to amplify our country’s mobilization against OA.
Le Pen C. Les conséquences socioéconomiques de l’arthrose en France. La Revue du Rhumatisme 72 (2005) 1326–1330
Fautrel et col. Joint Bone Spine 2005 May ; 72(3) : 235-40
Grange L et coll. : Osteoarthritis in France the cost of ambulatory care in 2010. 2012 World Congress on Osteoarthritis (Barcelone) : 26-29 avril 2012
Rapport du Haut Conseil de Santé publique d’avril 2010 : Objectifs de santé publique Évaluation des objectifs de la loi du 9 août 2004 – Propositions (p46-47)
Disclosure of Interest None Declared