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European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine 2020 February;56(1):112-9

DOI: 10.23736/S1973-9087.19.05837-4


language: English

Multidisciplinary integrated approach for older adults with symptomatic osteoarthritis: SIMFER and SI-GUIDA Joint Position Statement

Giovanni IOLASCON 1 , Carmelinda RUGGIERO 2, Pietro FIORE 3, Giulia L. MAURO 4, Biagio MORETTI 5, Umberto TARANTINO 6

1 Department of Medical and Surgical Specialties and Dentistry, Luigi Vanvitelli University of Campania, Naples, Italy; 2 Orthogeriatric Service, Geriatric Unit, Gerontology and Geriatrics Section, Department of Medicine, S. Maria della Misericordia Hospital, University of Perugia, Perugia, Italy; 3 Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine-Unipolar Spinal Unit, Consorziale Polyclinic Hospital, Bari, Italy; 4 Unit of Physiatry and Rehabilitation, Paolo Giaccone University Hospital, Palermo, Italy; 5 Clinic of Orthopedics and Traumathology, Policlinico University Hospital, Bari, Italy; 6 Department of Surgery, Tor Vergata Polyclinic Hospital, Rome, Italy

Multidisciplinary approach to osteoarthritis (OA) in older patients, whose functional decline is multifactorial and who present with multiple symptoms, has been long advocated, but it is still seldom implemented in daily practice. Therefore, further indications for the management of OA are eagerly awaited and should consider the specific clinical features of this population, including the presence of frailty and comorbidities. This clinical approach should be based both on well-grounded evidence and practical experience of experts in OA management. This manuscript comments the multidisciplinary integrated approach for OA management in the older population, according to the opinion of a multidisciplinary Panel of Experts. This project was developed by a Steering Committee, which consisted of three experts that were identified by the Italian Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (Società Italiana di Medicina Fisica e Riabilitativa, SIMFER) and the Italian Society for Unified and Interdisciplinary Management of Musculoskeletal Pain and Algodystrophy (Società Italiana per la Gestione Unificata e Interdisciplinare del Dolore muscolo-scheletrico e dell’Algodistrofia, SI-GUIDA). The Steering Committee identified key evidence on the management of OA in the older through systematic research in MEDLINE and EMBASE, selected the most relevant paper among those identified, and defined some questions concerning current unmet needs in the management of symptomatic OA in the older accordingly. The Panel discussed the identified evidence and questions during two meetings. The discussion was used to generate seven statements with relevance to clinical practice. In conclusion, older adults with symptomatic OA present multiple concomitant issues, including other diseases, marked pain, poly-pharmacy, and often poor psychological and/or socioeconomical status. According to the above-described evidence, it is crucial that the approach to those patients is multidisciplinary and based on the use of dedicated tools. A combination of exercise, mechanical support and properly selected analgesic treatment will greatly help the management of the OA patient, improving at the same time his/her quality of life.

KEY WORDS: Osteoarthritis; Quality of life; Acetaminophen; Rehabilitation

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