Objectives To explore the challenges experienced by patients with knee osteoarthritis.
Methods A structured interview was conducted with patients that fulfilled the ACR classification criteria for knee osteoarthritis (OA) (1991). We collected data on demographic and socioeconomic characteristics, use of health and social services, and effect on occupation and living arrangements over the previous 12 months. The patients completed Knee Osteoarthritis Outcomes Score (KOOS) and Patient Satisfaction Questionnaire. This study was conducted according to the principles of the Declaration of Helsinki (1996) and Good Clinical Practice.
Results There were 51 patients enrolled in the study including 39 females (76,5%), mean age 64,45 ±8,07 (range 50–82) and the disease duration was 9,9±6,97 (range 2–24) years. Knee pain was present in 49 (96%) of patients. The radiographic characteristics: KL I – 1 (1,9%), II – 29 (56,9%) patients, KLIII – 17 (33,3%) and the most severe form KLIV – 4 (7,9%) cases. The KOOS results showed that Pain was 59,6±20,6%, Symptoms 63,74±17,38%, Activity Daily Living – 45,35±21,1%, the possibility to practice sport was the worse score 25,69±25,2%, and the QoL-37,66±28,88% qualified as low. Patients notice health system frustration: poor communication (70,6%), uncoordinated health services (86,2%), lack of efficient and timely information (41,2%), that determine the difficulties in making decisions about their care. The patients in 50 (98,0%) cases manifested a high level of dissatisfaction with financial aspects (the out-pocket expenders representing 29,7% from incomes) and low level of social support.
Conclusions Patients with knee osteoarthritis experience social-economic and organizational difficulties, their pointing could lead to the improvement of the quality of medical care and increased patient's satisfaction.
Disclosure of Interest None declared