Medical Research Science

Medical Research Science
Medical Research Science

Major health care problems such as patient dissatisfaction, inequity of access to care, and spiraling costs no longer seem amenable to traditional biomedical solutions. Concepts derived from anthropologic and cross-cultural research may provide an alternative framework for identifying issues that require resolution.

A limited set of such concepts is described as illustrated, including a fundamental distinction between disease and illness, and the notion of the cultural construction of clinical reality.

These social science concepts can be developed into clinical strategies with direct application in practice and teaching. One such strategy is outlined as an example of a clinical social science capable of translating concepts from cultural anthropology into clinical language for practical application. The implementation of this approach in medical teaching and practice requires more support, both curricular and financial.

OBJECTIVE

To develop concise, up-to-date, patient-focused, evidence-based, expert consensus guidelines for the management of knee osteoarthritis (OA), intended to inform patients, physicians, and allied healthcare professionals worldwide.

METHODST

hirteen experts from relevant medical disciplines (primary care, rheumatology, orthopedics, physical therapy, physical medicine and rehabilitation, and evidence-based medicine), three continents and ten countries (USA, UK, France, Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden, Denmark, Australia, Japan, and Canada) and a patient representative comprised the Osteoarthritis Guidelines Development Group (OAGDG). Based on previous OA guidelines and a systematic review of the OA literature, 29 treatment modalities were considered for recommendation.

Evidence published subsequent to the 2010 OARSI guidelines was based on a systematic review conducted by the OA Research Society International (OARSI) evidence team at Tufts Medical Center, Boston, USA. Medline, EMBASE, Google Scholar, Web of Science, and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials were initially searched in first quarter 2012 and last searched in March 2013.

Included evidence was assessed for quality using Assessment of Multiple Systematic Reviews (AMSTAR) criteria, and published criticism of included evidence was also considered. To provide recommendations for individuals with a range of health profiles and OA burden, treatment recommendations were stratified into four clinical sub-phenotypes. Consensus recommendations were produced using the RAND/UCLA Appropriateness Method and Delphi voting process. Treatments were recommended as Appropriate, Uncertain, or Not Appropriate, for each of four clinical sub-phenotypes and accompanied by 1-10 risk and benefit scores.

RESULTS

Appropriate treatment modalities for all individuals with knee OA included biomechanical interventions, intra-articular corticosteroids, exercise (land-based and water-based), self-management and education, strength training, and weight management.

Treatments appropriate for specific clinical sub-phenotypes included acetaminophen (paracetamol), balneotherapy, capsaicin, cane (walking stick), duloxetine, oral non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs; COX-2 selective and non-selective), and topical NSAIDs.

Treatments of uncertain appropriateness for specific clinical sub-phenotypes included acupuncture, avocado soybean unsaponfiables, chondroitin, crutches, diacerein, glucosamine, intra-articular hyaluronic acid, opioids (oral and transdermal), rosehip, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, and ultrasound.

Treatments voted not appropriate included risedronate and electrotherapy (neuromuscular electrical stimulation).CONCLUSIONSThese evidence-based consensus recommendations provide guidance to patients and practitioners on treatments applicable to all individuals with knee OA, as well as therapies that can be considered according to individualized patient needs and preferences.

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