A multidisciplinary panel of researchers, healthcare providers, and patients has made significant progress toward establishing a model of osteoarthritis (OA) care, according to the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). The new model of care aims to acknowledge the importance of early diagnosis and recognizes the impact that OA can have on successful treatment of comorbidities. The efforts of the diverse group have been released in the Chronic Osteoarthritis Management Initiative (COAMI) report published by the US Bone and Joint Initiative (USBJI).

An APTA news release indicates that the COAMI report describes the challenge of OA care, and the writers note that, “patients and providers often have their first conversations about joint pain when the joint is damaged enough to require surgical replacement.” Slow detection and uncoordinated treatment can not only result in more severe joint damage, but may also allow OA to considerably impact how well a patient responds to treatment of concurrent conditions, such as diabetes and respiratory problems.

The COAMI report calls for improvements as well as better coordination in self-management support, decision support, delivery system and design, and clinical information systems, with the overall goal of creating an OA model of care “that is far closer to the coordinated, proactive ideal than what is currently in place.” The APTA news release notes that with such a model, it might be possible “to overcome the view of patients, the public, and many health care professionals that OA is inevitable and that joint pain and related disability should be tolerated.”

The multidisciplinary panel decided on specific action items that will be addressed by designated groups of participants, as indicated on the APTA news release.

[Sources: APTA, US Bone and Joint Initiative]