The ongoing management of OA by healthcare professionals is predominantly undertaken in primary care in the UK by GPs. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) OA Guideline provides evidence-based recommendations to guide GPs. At the heart of NICE’s recommendations is the self-management of OA: access to information, exercise and physical activity, where appropriate weight loss and over-the-counter analgesics. GP management has traditionally focussed on the pharmacological management of pain but with the rising awareness of the need to support patients with long-term conditions, such as OA, in managing their own condition(s) this is starting to change. This is echoed by the patient voice: that they would like help from healthcare professionals in supporting them to self-manage.
To provide support for self-management the GP, or other healthcare professional, needs to enter the patient’s world to understand how OA affects their life and what they have tried to help the condition. It is then important to identify what support is needed and help the patient set goals and think through how they might achieve them. The aim is to increase patients’ confidence and skills in managing their OA, but also to provide evidence-based advice on effective treatments for OA when asked.
The talk will provide practical examples of how GPs, and other healthcare professionals, can support the self-management of OA.
Disclosure of Interest None Declared
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