Background In March 2012, a new project was started at HUP La Fe following the pilot project carried out at San Carlos Clinical Hospital in Madrid, where patients who were off work for musculoskeletal causes were referred to us from Primary Care.
Objectives The aim of the study is to analyze the variation in days off work in those individuals included in this program with respect to the normal average of days off.
Methods Cohort, observational, cross-sectional study from April 2012 to December 2013, which included patients from the HUP La Fe area, referred for the first time to the Rheumatology Early Intervention consultation program because of temporary disability due to musculoskeletal problems. These patients are referred to a medical appointment with a maximum waiting time of one week and were provided medical treatment, ultrasound, joint injections and directed exercises if needed. The patient is reviewed continuously until discharge. We excluded patients whose disabilities were due to trauma or surgery or if their situation could cause permanent disability.
Results We included a total of 250 patients with a mean age of 48 years and 53% were women. The most frequently reported diseases were: back pain (33%), neck pain (16%), shoulder pain syndrome (13%) and other tendinopathies (10%). 100% of patients received medical treatment, 39% underwent articular ultrasound, 35% of them underwent injections and 82% were trained to perform physical therapy exercises at home. The pathology that had a higher average number of days from the first visit to the medical discharge was lumbar/sciatic pain (38 days), neck pain (30 days), and painful shoulder syndrome (34 days). Comparing our data with the control population in the San Carlos Hospital study, there was a decrease of the days off, being in the control group lumbociatalgia (57.6 days), neck (37.4 days) and neck pain (37.4 days).
Conclusions Results obtained in our study show that early intervention by rheumatologists in patients with temporary disability of musculoskeletal origin decreases the number of days off work compared to patients who receive routine treatment and they can be incorporated in work early. Consequently, it saves all costs resulting from such temporary disability.
Disclosure of Interest None declared
Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.