Objective: To describe health care utilization (HCU) and predict analgesic use and health professional (HP) contact at baseline and 2 years in individuals with early symptomatic hip and/or knee osteoarthritis (OA). Design: Baseline and two-year data on HCU of the 1002 participants from the multi-centre Cohort Hip & Cohort Knee study were used. Six forms of health care services were described: analgesic use, supplement use, contact with a General Practitioner (GP), contact with a HP, contact in secondary care, and alternative medicine use. Multivariable logistic regression was performed in order to identify predisposing, enabling and disease-related variables that predict analgesic use and HP contact at 2 years; treatment modalities of first choice in early OA. Results: For the hip (n= 170), the knee (n= 414) and the hip and knee (n= 418) group analgesic use (38%, 29% and 47%, respectively), contact with a GP (32%, 38% and 36%, respectively) and contact with a HP (26%, 18% and 20%, respectively), were reported most often at baseline. Contact with a GP significantly decreased, supplement use increased (to about one third), and other treatment modalities remained stable at 2 years. In all three groups, analgesic use at baseline was the strongest predictor for analgesic use at 2 years, whereas contact with a HP at baseline was the strongest predictor of contact with a HP after 2 years. Belonging to a first generation minority was a predisposing risk factor [Odds Ratio (95%-CI), 8.72 (1.55-48.97)] for analgesic use in the hip and knee group. Conclusions: In early OA, familiarity with HCU and other predisposing factors are, apart from disease-related factors strongly associated with HCU at 2 years. Further research is necessary to examine whether our findings reflect sub-optimal management of early OA in terms of efficacy and equity.

Analgesics, Cohort studies, Health services, Osteoarthritis, Therapy
dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.joca.2012.03.003, hdl.handle.net/1765/39289
Osteoarthritis and Cartilage
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Hoogeboom, T.J, Snijders, G.F, Cats, H.A, de Bie, R.A, Bierma-Zeinstra, S.M, van den Hoogen, F.H.J, … van den Ende, C.H.M. (2012). Prevalence and predictors of health care use in patients with early hip or knee osteoarthritis: Two-year follow-up data from the CHECK cohort. Osteoarthritis and Cartilage, 20(6), 525–531. doi:10.1016/j.joca.2012.03.003