Recognising and meeting the needs of people with osteoarthritis
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Recognising and meeting the needs of people with osteoarthritis

Cindy Mann Senior research nurse, Musculoskeletal research unit, Avon Orthopaedic Centre, Southmead Hospital, Bristol

Osteoarthritis is a common condition among older people, and is responsible for a significant proportion of disability, psychological distress and reduced quality of life. It contributes to functional decline, a risk factor for hospitalisation and death, but is often under-recognised and under-treated. Community nurses are in an ideal position to identify patients who are in this situation. Knowledge of the many factors that can affect an individual’s ability to self-manage the condition can enable an accurate needs assessment, and prompt referral, to appropriate services and resources. This article aims to enable community nurses to identify osteoarthritis, recognise its symptoms and their impact, and encourage ways of addressing unmet need.

Primary Health Care. 22, 7, 32-39. doi: 10.7748/phc2012.


Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review

Conflict of interest

None declared