Background Knee and hip joints are the two most prevalent sites of osteoarthritis (OA). Pain and functional limitations are the two major factors influencing the quality of life in patients with OA. Few studies assessed the effect of educational programs on clinical features of OA in primary care.
Objectives To determine the influence of participation in educational programs performed by healthcare professionals on pain levels and quality of life in patients with knee and hip OA.
Methods 32 patients with symptomatic hip and knee OA (radiographic stages II-IV) participated in educational program for primary care patients with OA. Patients participated in once-a-month 2-hour classes performed by healthcare professionals. VAS pain, WOMAC (Likert Scale) and overall satisfaction with provided medical aid score (0-100 mm VAS scale) were measured at the baseline and after 3 months. Work productivity was assessed using the Work Productivity and Activity Impairment (WPAI) questionnaire. The comparison group included 30 patients with hip and knee OA comparable by age, sex and baseline VAS and WOMAC scores.
Results After 3 months a significant improvements were found for VAS pain score (study group - 49.3±7.3- baseline, 34.2±4.8 - 3 months, control group - 50.1±6.9- baseline, 48.2±6.9 - 3 months p<0,05), WOMAC overall score (study group - 33.7±4.5- baseline, 27.6±3.9 - 3 months, control group - 34.2±4.8 - baseline, 32.9±4.0 - 3 months, p<0.05), as well as WOMAC pain and physical function scores in patients who participated in educational program. 81,9% of patients achieved pain relief of ≥ 3 points in the WOMAC pain subscale. Both presenteism and absenteeism percent were significantly higher in the control group patients (32% of productive time while at work and 14% through absenteeism) compared to intervention group patients (24% of productive time while at work and 6% through absenteeism) after 3 months. The overall satisfaction with provided medical aid score measured by VAS scale was higher in the study group patients compared to controls (79.3±10.2 vs 55.8±14.0, p<0.05).
Conclusions Participation of patients with symptomatic knee and hip OA in educational programs performed by healthcare professionals can decrease pain, increase quality of life and work performance.
Disclosure of Interest None Declared