“Somebody to Say ‘Come On We Can Sort This’”: A Qualitative Study of Primary Care Consultation Among Older Adults With Symptomatic Foot Osteoarthritis

Martin J Thomas, Andrew Moore, Edward Roddy, George Peat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)
288 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To examine the experiences of primary care consultation among older adults with symptomatic foot osteoarthritis (OA).

METHODS: Eleven participants (6 women and 5 men) ages 56-80 years who had radiographically confirmed symptomatic foot OA and consulted a general practitioner in the last 12 months for foot pain were purposively sampled. Semistructured interviews explored the nature of the foot problem, help-seeking behaviors, and consultation experiences. Verbatim transcripts were analyzed using interpretative phenomenological analysis.

RESULTS: The decision to consult a physician was often the outcome of a complex process influenced by quantitative and qualitative changes in symptoms, difficulty maintaining day-to-day roles and responsibilities and the effect this had on family and work colleagues, and a reluctance to present a fragile or aging self to the outside world. Self-management was commonly negotiated alongside multimorbidities. Upon seeking help, participants often believed they received limited information, they were given a brief or even cursory assessment, and that treatment was focused on the prescription of analgesic drugs.

CONCLUSION: This is the first qualitative study of primary care experiences among patients with symptomatic foot OA. The experience of primary care seldom appeared to move beyond a label of arthritis and an unwelcome emphasis on pharmacologic treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2051-2055
Number of pages5
JournalArthritis and Rheumatism
Volume65
Issue number12
Early online date27 Nov 2013
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013

Keywords

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Foot Diseases
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Primary Health Care
  • Qualitative Research
  • Referral and Consultation

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