Providers in primary care settings encounter the majority of patients with osteoarthritis (OA)- not rheumatologists or orthopedists! Given the extensive patient and economic burden of OA, combined with its relationship to other comorbidities and the fact that disease-modifying therapies have not been identified, many of the challenges associated with OA can best be addressed in primary care. Family physicians, internists, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, physical and occupational therapists, sports medicine professionals, and athletic trainers play a critical role in detecting OA early and establishing management strategies with patients that may delay pain and stiffness and retain mobility and function. Developed by the Osteoarthritis Action Alliance, USBJI, and numerous experts in the field, the Osteoarthritis Prevention and Management in Primary Care Toolkit includes educational information for primary care providers to expand their knowledge of OA as well as patient-facing handouts and resources that can help empower patients to engage in self-management strategies to complement clinical care.
The Toolkit can be accessed at oacaretools.org.