Physiotherapists' experiences of osteoarthritis guidelines in primary health care - an interview study

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BACKGROUND: Osteoarthritis is a common joint disease, globally. Guidelines recommend information, exercise and, if needed, weight reduction as core treatment. There is a gap between evidence-based recommended care for osteoarthritis and clinical practice. To increase compliance to guidelines, implementation was conducted. The aim of the study was to explore physiotherapists' experiences of osteoarthritis guidelines and their experiences of implementation of the guidelines in primary health care in a region in southern Sweden. METHODS: Eighteen individual, semi-structured interviews with physiotherapists in primary health care were analysed with inductive qualitative content analysis. RESULTS: The analysis resulted in two categories and four subcategories. The physiotherapists were confident in their role as primary assessors for patients with osteoarthritis and the guidelines were aligned with their professional beliefs. The Supported Osteoarthritis Self-Management Programme, that is part of the guidelines, was found to be efficient for the patients. Even though the physiotherapists followed the guidelines they saw room for improvement since all patients with hip and/or knee osteoarthritis did not receive treatment according to the guidelines. Furthermore, the physiotherapists emphasised the need for management's support and that guidelines should be easy to follow. CONCLUSION: The physiotherapists believed in the guidelines and were confident in providing first line treatment to patients with osteoarthritis. However, information about the guidelines probably needs to be repeated to all health care providers and management. Data from a national quality register on osteoarthritis could be used to a greater extent in daily clinical work in primary health care to improve quality of care for patients with osteoarthritis.

Originalspråkengelska
Sidor (från-till)259
Antal sidor1
TidskriftBMC Family Practice
Volym22
Utgåva1
DOI
StatusPublished - 2021 dec.

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