The use of conventional and complementary treatments for knee osteoarthritis in the community

Jordan, K M, Sawyers, S, Coakley, P, Smith, H, Cooper, C and Arden, N K (2004) The use of conventional and complementary treatments for knee osteoarthritis in the community. Rheumatology, 43 (3). pp. 381-384. ISSN 1462-0332

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Objectives: The aim of the survey was to assess the prevalence of clinically diagnosed knee osteoarthritis (OA) in two general practice populations in the Wessex region (practice A: a deprived urban population and practice B: an affluent rural population) and to assess both conventional and complementary therapy use in these two populations.

Methods: All patients over 55 yr with a clinical diagnosis of knee OA, as identified from the practice computerized records, were sent a questionnaire about their knee pain and their use of conventional and complementary treatments.

Results: A total of 4566 patients over 55 yr were registered in the two practices. Of these, 828 (18.13%) had a clinical diagnosis of knee OA and 240 (29%) patients were asymptomatic at the time of survey. Physiotherapy was under-utilized with only 13.1% of patients having received either hospital- or GP-based physiotherapy. There was a high prevalence of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) use, being significantly more in the affluent population (P < 0.05). In the affluent population there were statistically more social class groups 1–3a; statistically more NSAIDs, glucosamine and chondroitin sulphate were also used. The median amount spent on complementary medicine per month was £5.00, with the affluent population spending significantly more (P < 0.05).

Conclusions: In this population, physiotherapy is an under-utilized treatment for knee OA, in spite of its recommendation as first-line treatment in all guidelines. Complementary medicines and therapies are commonly used, particularly in affluent populations.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: Brighton and Sussex Medical School > Primary Care and Public Health
Depositing User: Jane Harle
Date Deposited: 06 Oct 2008
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2019 15:50
Google Scholar:63 Citations

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