Effectiveness of an Integrated Multidisciplinary Osteoarthritis Outpatient Program versus Outpatient Clinic as Usual: A Randomized Controlled Trial


OBJECTIVE: Osteoarthritis (OA) is one of the leading causes of pain and disability. Given the constraint in the provision of care, there is a need to develop and assess effectiveness of new treatment models. The objective was to compare satisfaction with and effectiveness of a new integrated multidisciplinary outpatient program with usual care in an outpatient clinic for patients with OA. METHODS: Patients with clinical OA referred to a rheumatology outpatient clinic were randomized to a 3.5-h multidisciplinary group-based educational program followed by individual consultations, or to usual care. The primary outcome was satisfaction with the health service evaluated on a numerical rating scale (0 = extremely unsatisfied, 10 = extremely satisfied) after 4 months. Secondary outcomes included health-related quality of life measures. RESULTS: Of 391 patients, 86.4% (n = 338) were women, and mean age was 61.2 (SD 8.0) years. At 4 months, patients who received integrated multidisciplinary care were significantly more satisfied with the health service compared with controls, with a mean difference of -1.05 (95% CI -1.68 to -0.43, p textless 0.001). Among secondary outcomes, only self-efficacy with other symptoms scale (10-100) improved significantly in the multidisciplinary group compared with controls at 4 months (3.59, 95% CI 0.69-6.5, p = 0.02). At 12 months, the Australian/Canadian Hand Osteoarthritis Index pain (0-10) and fatigue scores (0-10) were slightly worse in the multidisciplinary group with differences of 0.38 (95% CI 0.06-0.71, p = 0.02) and 0.55 (95% CI 0.02-1.07, p = 0.04), respectively. CONCLUSION: Patients receiving an integrated multidisciplinary care model were more satisfied with healthcare than those receiving usual care, whereas there were no clinically relevant improvements in health outcomes.

The Journal of Rheumatology