Interprofessional Learning Boosts Primary Care Arthritis Management

July 6, 2011

Interprofessional learning may be effective for dissemination of guidelines for the management of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and osteoarthritis (OA). Such a method has the potential to improve the delivery of arthritis care.

Interprofessional learning may be effective for dissemination of guidelines for the management of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and osteoarthritis (OA). Such a method has the potential to improve the delivery of arthritis care.

Lineker and associates evaluated the Getting a Grip on Arthritis© program, a workshop on the evidence-based management of OA and RA. Multidisciplinary arthritis specialists received standardized training and materials that emphasized the early identification and differentiation of arthritis, pharmacological and nonpharmacological care, self-management support, and appropriate referral to specialists. Six months of reinforcement activities included educational materials, posters, and resource lists for staff and patients. Workshop participants were assessed at baseline and 6 months post-workshop with a modified version of the Arthritis Research and Evaluation Unit Primary Care Survey, which asked what interventions and referrals (best practices) they would recommend for 3 case scenarios (typical early and late RA and moderate knee OA).

Best practice scores were low for all 3 case scenarios at baseline and improved significantly at 6 months post-workshop. Scores varied by provider discipline; nurse practitioners and rehabilitation therapists showed the most improvement.